Spread the word!

Outreach at Jamaica State Park

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.

If public speaking isn't your cup of tea, you can contact UVM Extension's Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator Ginger at Ginger.Nickerson@uvm.edu.

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.

Terrestrial Plant Outreach Opportunities

There are many ways to help others learn, get involved, and make a difference. Here are a few:

  1. Project How-To Guide developed by The Nature Conservancy Vermont, provides resources for groups just starting out, or interested in learning more about outreach.
  2. Problems and Solutions check out the case studies below that include problems encountered and solutions discovered by other Vermonters managing invasive plants.
  3. CISMAs Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas are a great way for communities to respond to invasive species. 
  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. 

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 plant management case studies

 3. Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas

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. 

Volunteers learning how to identify invasive plants


Vermont CISMAs in Action

While not a CISMA, Black River Action Team deserve mention for their great work at Early Detection, Rapid Response

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