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.

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.



Map Invasive PlantsVolunteers mapping invasive plants

Help track which invasive plants are present in Vermont and where they are by participating in our Mapping for Healthy Forests, Vermont iNaturalist project. Knowing what plants are where makes it easier for all of us to prioritize, plan, and execute treatment strategies. 


Statewide Invasive Plant Phenology monitoring project

In the second full week of each month of the growing season, volunteers observe invasive plant phenology (life stage) across the state, submit that data, and it is reported in the monthly FPR Insect & Disease reports. Knowing how invasive plants are behaving at different latitudes and altitudes helps us all understand how plants respond to changes in climate and growing conditions, and allows us all to adjust our treatment plans accordingly. Please be in touch if you’d like to be part of this collection effort.   

Invasive Plant Resources for Volunteers 

Print and pocket this Field Guide for 12 invasive plants common in Vermont

Check out Bud Buds, the podcast tracking the real time seasonal changes of invasive plants in Vermont   




Protect our aquatic resources - Become a vermont invasive patroller!

VIPS surveying a Vermont lakeEarly 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).