There are many ways to get involved from surveying our region collecting data to joining a trail crew to eradicate invasives along trails. you can also help out behind the scenes with educational materials or data processing.
From beginners to experts, there's a survey level for all of our awesome volunteers. For our experienced volunteers, we hope this will allow you to step up to a new level while new volunteers have the opportunity to start with more easily identified species.
Standard (Formerly Phase 1)
Our easiest survey level, focuses on surveys along hiking trails. After attending a 1-day training where you will learn how to identify 14 common invasive species, you walk along your assigned 2-mile section of trail with data sheets and record what you find. Once you get home, type up your results and email them to us!
The small change we've made in this program is that we've removed 2 infrequently reported species (bush honeysuckle and purple loosestrife) and replaced them with 2 easy to identify species from the old Phase 2 list (mile-a-minute and Japanese angelica tree). The data collection methods have not changed.
To start as a surveyor at this level, you must attend one of the following ISF Standard trainings. Existing surveyors are welcome to come for a refresher or just to learn the two new species.
Sunday May 20 - Mahwah, NJ Saturday June 9 - Tuxedo Park, NY Friday June 15 - Millbrook, NY
- Saturday June 23 - Ringwood, NJ
- Saturday July 7 - Mahwah, NJ
Intermediate (Formerly Phase 2)
The next level survey is perfect for returning ISF surveyors or those with a passion for learning new plants! This level uses the same data collection methods as the Standard level and continues to focus on surveying hiking trails. In the Intermediate training class, you learn 11 new invasive species that may be a little less commonly found than those you learned in the Standard level.
We have changed the species list quite a bit from the old Phase 2 list from previous years. We've removed 5 species and added 5 others - dropping some infrequently found species and adding some species that are included in the BlockBuster survey level.
To become an ISF Intermediate surveyor, you must attend one of the following half-day trainings.
Sunday June 3 - Mahwah, NJ
- Saturday June 30 - Millbrook, NY
- Saturday July 14 - Ossining, NY
- Sunday July 22- Mahwah, NJ
Our most advanced level, perfect for returning BlockBuster volunteers and folks who already know many common invasive plants and want to make a big impact. Volunteers search for the same 27 species as in the original BlockBuster Survey program, and you will complete surveys in three different areas (highly probable area, natural area parking lot, and natural area trail) in a 3x3-mile block just like the original BlockBuster program.
BlockBuster training will assume you already know the species that were covered in ISF Standard and Intermediate levels and will focus on teaching the 11 new species introduced at the BlockBuster level. The remainder of the BlockBuster list includes 9 species from ISF Standard and 7 species from ISF Intermediate.
To become an ISF BlockBuster surveyor, you must attend a one-day training: either the BlockBuster course, or if you're an experienced BlockBuster surveyor, arrange to attend just the protocol section of an ISF Standard or BlockBuster workshop.
Want more info?
Send an email to [email protected] to get added to the Invasives Strike Force volunteer mailing list. We send out a monthly email with news about what's going on.
The Trail Conference's Invasives Strike Force Trail Crew is made up of volunteers dedicated to eradicating invasive plants along hiking trails in the region. Anyone can participate in the Invasives Strike Force Trail Crew - prior attendance at a training workshop is not required and you do not need to know how to identify the plants. We provide on-the-job training. For all trips, bring work gloves, water and lunch. We provide the tools. Trips will usually be cancelled if it is raining.
Get on the ISF Trail Crew Mailing List
Seasonal ISF Conservation Corps Crew
Please see what our 2017 ISF Conservation Corps Crew accomplished!
Our crew typically serves 40 hour per week from mid-May to mid-September. Housing is provided and Conservation Corps crew members receive a living stipend.