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Tracking Wild Invasives
Last Chance to Take Part in Ground-breaking Citizen-Science Project!
This will be the fourth and last year of a joint project between the Trail Conference and Rutgers University, with support by the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture), which aims to better understand the spread of invasive plants in forested parklands. There is very little information about the occurrence of invasive plants on conservation lands, which makes it difficult for park managers to determine the magnitude of the problem or how to manage it.
Participants from previous years are welcome back this year and 20 lucky new participants will be trained by Rutgers scientists to identify common invasive species and record their locations using Global Position System (GPS) units. The training portion of this project will begin in mid-May online and culminate in a workshop on Sunday, May 31st at Sterling Forest. We only have room for 20 new volunteers, so sign up now to ensure your place. There is unlimited space for the previous year’s participants, who will not need to attend the workshop.
The actual field work will occur primarily during the month of June, when teams of two will be assigned specific trail segments to hike while recording the invasive species and documenting the location with the GPS device. Volunteers will be trained in plant identification as well as the survey protocol, which basically consists of stopping at survey points along the trail, scanning the woods and noting the presence, identity, and density of any invasive species seen.
Contact Catherine Gemmell at 201-512- 9348, ext. 14 or [email protected] to indicate your interest or to register.