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Invasives Strike Force

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference Invasives Strike Force

Would you like to help protect our environment while you hike or enjoy our regional parks system? You can become a citizen scientist by volunteering for our Invasives Strike Force Team! Our Invasives Strike Force volunteers help spot invasive plants so that we can schedule work days to remove them. As a Strike Force volunteer, you’ll learn easy ways to identify a set of invasive plants commonly found along the trails and how to record information about their locations. You can also volunteer to help the Strike Crew on scheduled removal days!

The goals of the ISF include:

  • Collecting information about what invasive plants exist and how abundant they are along our trails
  • Using that information to identify areas where the removal of invasive species will allow us to prevent them from spreading into un-invaded communities
  • Scheduling ISF trail crew work at those target locations and working to prevent and reverse the invasion along our trails

Seasonal ISF Conservation Corps Crew also conducts removals around the Lower Hudson region and serves as the Lower Hudson PRISM's rapid response crew.

Become an ISF Survey volunteer

Ecoquest Volunteer surveyors

New to our survey program offerings in 2019, EcoQuest surveyors utilize an easy-to-use mobile app, iNaturalist, to photodocument invasive species in our region's parks and trail systems. The uploaded photos are used by our scientific team to track the distribution of invasives in our region and help determine best management practices. For more information on this program and to learn about the monthly Ecoquest challenges (a scavenger hunt version of our Ecoquest program that keys in on two focal species for that month), please visit our ISF Ecoquest website. To become an Ecoquest survey volunteer, please register here.  

Standard Surveying volunteers

  • Attend a 1-day training to learn how to identify 14 common invasive plants, how to collect data and how to use a GPS
  • You will be assigned a trail section (~2 miles long)
  • Walk the trail while identifying and mapping these invasive plants.

May 18, 9am-4pm at Trail Conference HQ in Mahwah

June 1, 9am-4pm in Pawling, NY

June 8, 9am-4pm at Sterling Forest State Park in Tuxedo Park, NY

June 22, 9am-4pm at Westchester Land Trust HQ in Bedford Hills, NY

 July 13, 9am-4pm at the New Weis Center in Ringwood, NJ

August 3, 9am-4pm at the Trail Conference in Mahwah, NJ

Intermediate Surveying volunteers

  • Attend a half-day training session to learn 11 more invasive plants. Surveys are conducted along hiking trails using the same methods as in Standard surveys.

June 2, 9am-12:30pm at Trail Conference HQ in Mahwah

June 23, 9am-12:30pm at Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, NY

June 29, 9am-12:30pm, Three Arrows Cooperative in Putnam Valley, NY

BlockBuster Surveying volunteers

  • Attend a 1-day training session to take your surveys on the road over a 3x3 mile block.
  • Learn several more invasive plants and search for these as well as Standard level and Intermediate level plants using the same survey methods.

June 20, 10am-3:00pm at Cornell Cooperative Extension- Dutchess County in Millbrook, NY

June 22, 10am-3:00pm at Cornell Cooperative Extension - Dutchess County in Millbrook, NY

Become an ISF Crew, Removal Volunteer

The Trail Conference's Invasives Strike Force Crew is made up of volunteers dedicated to protecting the native habitats in our parks by removing invasive plants. 

We work throughout the region from the Delaware Water Gap to eastern Bergen county in New Jersey and from Orange County and Westchester County up to Dutchess County in New York. Anyone can participate in the crew. You don't need to know anything about the plants; we provide on-the-job training. Just bring your work gloves and come help us make a real difference in the park you love.

May 4, 9:30-3:00 at the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

June 8, 9:30-3:00 pm at Little Stony Point in Cold Spring, NY

June 9, 9:30-3:00 at Orange County Land Trust in New Windsor, NY

June 15, 9:30-2:00 at Rye Nature Center in Rye, NY

July 13, 9:30-3:00pm at Granite Mountain Preserve in Putnam Valley, NY

July 14, 9:30-3:00pm at High Point State Park in Sussex, NJ

July 18, 9:30-3:00, Westchester Wilderness Walk - Zofnass Family Preserve

August 11, 9:30-3:00, Iona Island in Tomkins Cove, NY

August 24, 10:00-3:00pm, Carolin's Grove in Pound Ridge, NY

September 28, 9:30-3:00pm, Old Croton Aqueduct in Ossining, NY

October 6, 9:30-3:00pm, Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, NY

October 12, 9:30-3:00pm, Three Arrows Cooperative in Putnam Valley, NY