For 30 years, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has been entrusted with the task of preserving and protecting the natural heritage of the region. A critical aspect of long-term stewardship on our preserves is maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems, as such the removal of invasive species is essential to our vision. Long-term invasive species monitoring is vital for keeping track of species locations and determining management priorities. In addition, these efforts can aid in early detection of potential invasive species, providing us the opportunity to prevent their spread. Volunteers are indispensable, and their engagement is critical to the continued success of invasive species control.
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Each Invasive Species Workday will involve different tasks depending on the target species, but all of the following may be included on any given day:
- Physically pull and remove plants
- Utilize hand tools to dig up roots and remove plants
- Haul bags of invasive plant material to appropriate dump sites
The Conservancy offers a variety of invasive species management workdays across its service area – sign up as an invasive species volunteer to learn more about specific sites and projects!
Invasive species removal can be strenuous labor depending on the species, slope, and soil type where the infestation is located. The following qualifications will help you have a successful invasive species workday:
- Ability to identify invasive species in various growth stages (preferred, but training will be provided)
- Ability to perform sometimes strenuous labor for two hours at a time (with breaks)
- Ability to work in variable, sometimes adverse site conditions (biting insects, mud, direct sun, etc.)
If you feel you do not meet the above qualifications, don’t worry! We are always happy to provide newcomers with appropriate resources and encourage all who are interested in making a positive impact on their community to please reach out!
Any time you donate to improving the integrity of our nature Preserves is invaluable, and you may volunteer as much as your schedule allows. That said, the season in which we can work on invasive species is short and the threat invasive species pose is endless. Many hands make light work, so we hope you will return for multiple workdays!
All volunteers are given information regarding specific job safety and hazards. Before each workday begins, volunteers receive site and job-specific training including:
- Identification of the target invasive species and potential native “look-a-likes”
- Proper removal techniques
- Proper disposal techniques
- Habitat and ecosystem benefits of target invasive species removal