Spread the word!
Having a good outreach strategy can make a huge difference in the prevention of invasive species. It was the incredible public outreach and community involvement that made it possible for Chicago to eradicate their infestation of Asian longhorned beetle.
On this page you will find an assortment of education and outreach material specific for forest pests, invasive plants, and aquatics. If you do not find what you are looking for on this page, be sure to also check out the Resource Hub.
Forest Pest Outreach Opportunities
- Organize a Tree Tagging Event
Unfortunately, most people cannot identify ash trees and therefore have no idea of what’s at risk until it’s too late. Tree tagging events have been organized in New York, Indiana and other Midwestern states as an effective way to raise awareness about the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Print your own tree tags.
- Complete an Ash Tree Inventory
Tree inventories can be as simple as walking through your woods for ten minutes or examining trees along your street while driving your car. They can also be detailed and expansive. Guidelines and worksheets for completing an ash inventory.
- Give a Talk or Host a Movie Screening
Public presentations are an excellent way to spread the word about forest pests. You can find Powerpoint presentations, videos, posters, handouts, and more in the Resource Hub. These are available for you to use and modify, as you see fit.
- Write an Article
Share what you've been up to or encourage others to take action. Writing articles, whether it is for a newspaper, blog, or a post on Facebook is a quick and easy way to spread the word. Here are some examples to inspire you:
Aquatic Invasive Species Opportunities
Check out the Resource Hub for presentations, videos, posters, handouts, and more. For more information, contact the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Aquatic Invasive Species Management Coordinator, Kim Jensen at Kimberly.Jensen@vermont.gov.
There are many ways to help others learn, get involved, and make a difference. Here are a few:
- Project How-To Guide developed by The Nature Conservancy Vermont, provides resources for groups just starting out, or interested in learning more about outreach.
- Problems and Solutions check out the case studies below that include problems encountered and solutions discovered by other Vermonters managing invasive plants.
- CISMAs Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas are a great way for communities to respond to invasive species.
- Working with Volunteers of All Ages Whether working with youth, school groups, teens, or adults, there are great resources available to help make it a rewarding experience for all involved.
The Resource Hub also has great information including handouts, Best Management Practices, and more.
1. Project how-to guide
Find an overview 'how to guide' here, or download the chapters of the Developing Invasive Plant Outreach and Management Projects: A Guide for Vermont Communities and Conservation Organizations via the links provided below.
- Planning Your Project
- Recruiting and working with volunteers
- Organizing and executing a workday
- Getting the word out
- Working with governments and schools
2. problems and solutions
Invasive plants are a common problem, and it can be useful to learn about what other communities have done in response.
- Management Case Studies
Invasive plants are a landscape-scale problem (and plants don't recognize borders or fences), so it can be helpful to bring other people and organizations on board to work together.
- What is a CISMA
A Co-operative Invasive Species Management Area, or CISMA, is a partnership among local organizations working to manage invasives in a particular area through outreach, prevention, and treatment. 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 the Invasive Plant Program so we can share your website or contact information here.
- Vermont CISMAs in Action
- Batten Kill Watershed CISMA
- Southeast VT CISMA
- Upper Connecticut CISMA
- Upper White River CWMA
- Orleans County CISMA
4. Working with Volunteers of All Ages
Whether working with youth, school groups, teens, or adults, there are great resources available to help make it a rewarding experience for all involved.
- Schools and Informal Education
US Forest Service Non-native Invasive Species Learning Kit - This is a four part kit developed by the US Forest Service's Eastern Region, and includes information and activities to educate preschool to adult groups
Youth Volunteer Guide - This guide is the result of years of experience planning and hosting invasive plant management workdays for youth of all ages in school, after-school, and camp settings. Here, you can view or download the comprehensive guide as a single resource and/or by topic.