Volunteer

Become a Forest Pest First Detector

Forest Pest First Detectors conducting a survey.
Forest Pest First Detectors conducting a campground survey.

Vermont's Forest Pest First Detectors program prepares these volunteers to meet, work with and educate the public about exotic tree pests. First Detectors are on the front line of defense against high risk forest pest infestations, such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle. Learn more about the Forest Pest First Detector Program.

become a wasp watcher

Do bugs fascinate you? If so, then you’ll want to be a part of this unique volunteer opportunity. Help us look for the emerald ash borer by monitoring nest sites of a ground-dwelling wasp (that does not sting humans) called Cerceris fumipennis. The female wasps provision their nests with metallic wood-boring beetles that they collect in trees near their nest sites. If the emerald ash borer is in the neighborhood of the wasp, she will collect the beetle and bring it back to her nest. Contact Trish Hanson at the Forest, Parks, & Recreation Forest Biology Lab to help out, trish.hanson@vermont.gov

survey for hemlock woolly adelgid

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is looking for volunteers to inspect hemlock trees for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) and report suspected sightings. If you’re interested in being out in the woods, inspecting hemlock stands and sending findings to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation then this opportunity is for you. Learn more about surveying for HWA.

VIPS surveying a Vermont lake

Protect our aquatic resources - Become a vermont invasive patroller!

Early detection is vital to protecting Vermont’s water bodies from harmful invasive plants and animals. With more than 800 lakes and ponds throughout the state, volunteers play a key role in surveying efforts. Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) monitor water bodies for new introductions of invasive species and report their findings to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Become a Superstar Mapper with Mapping for Healthy Forests

Volunteers mapping invasive plantsThe Mapping for Healthy Forests project aims to map and monitor the locations of invasive plants in Vermont, along common points of introduction, like roadways and in shared spaces like parks and town forests. With this mapping effort spread across the whole state, towns, communities, and land owners will not only know what invasive plants are near their land, but by knowing what plants are just down the road, can know what to look out for to prevent certain species before they’re a problem. Learn more about becoming a Superstar Mapper.

Create a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area

A Co-operative Invasive Species Management Area, or CISMA, is a partnership among local organizations that have a vested interest in maintaining the ecological health of a particular area through invasives outreach, prevention, and management. Organizations that are part of a CISMA can work together to share resources and collectively be more effective in their work. To learn how to create a CISMA in your community, check out these resources here (MOU, CISMA), and check out Midwest Invasive Plant Network, who hosts a variety of resources on creating a cooperative weed management area. 

If you are an existing CISMA that works on lands in Vermont, please contact Elizabeth Spinney at elizabeth.spinney@vermont.gov, so we can share your website or contact information here to share with others. 

Volunteers learning how to identify invasive plants

Upper Connecticut CISMA

Batten Kill Watershed CISMA

Upper White River CWMA