IMA Program Reaches 20,000 Volunteer Hours
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program has reached a major milestone. Earlier this summer, IMA topped 20,000 volunteer hours given by local residents to restore habitat on parkland.
Since 2006, volunteers have been working at IMA sites across the county to remove invasive plants and replant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. IMA volunteers have taken part in several national programs this year, including Global Youth Service Day on April 21 and Virginia’s annual Invasive Plant Removal Day on May 5. Several hundred bags of invasive plants were removed during those events.
There are currently 34 active IMA sites, many of which have been established for five or more years. In the program’s six years, IMA has hosted more than 6,000 volunteers for more than 1,000 work days, and the program is responsible for restoring more than 50 acres of parkland. The IMA site leaders will celebrate their milestone achievement at their annual volunteer appreciation event next February.
Invasive species cause ecological and economic damage. They share characteristics such as quick maturity, many offspring, and they tolerate a wide range of habitats. Garlic mustard has been a major target of the IMA program this year. At parks where garlic mustard has not taken hold, volunteers targeted other invasive plants such as English ivy and Japanese honeysuckle.
For information about volunteering for IMA, call 703-324-8681 or see online.