For over 30 years, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has been entrusted with preserving and protecting the region’s natural heritage – and stewarding our protected lands. Invasive species removal is critical to maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems, and monitoring these species is vital to tracking their locations and determining land management priorities. These efforts can also aid in the early detection of invasive species, providing us the opportunity to prevent their spread. Volunteers are indispensable to the continued success of invasive species control.
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Tasks for each workday will differ depending on the targeted species but may include
- Physically pulling and removing plants
- Utilizing hand tools to dig up roots and remove plants
- Hauling bags of invasive plant material to appropriate dump sites
The Conservancy offers invasive species management workdays across our 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 each location's soil type. 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 interested in making a positive impact to please reach out!
Your time spent improving the integrity of our nature preserves is invaluable, and you may volunteer as much as your schedule allows. Because the season we can successfully manage invasive species is short and the threat invasive species pose is endless, we encourage volunteers to return for multiple workdays!
GTRLC will provide all volunteers with 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