Take Back the Forest 2013
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program seeks volunteers to help Take Back the Forest this spring now through May 31. For the second year in a row, thanks in part to a grant from community partner REI, volunteers will help restore parkland during events held at IMA sites around the county. This year IMA plans to host 625 volunteers during this two-month period, and there is always room for more helping hands.
IMA volunteers will remove non-native invasive plants and replace them with native species. The work is hard but important. Invasive plants cause ecological harm by out-competing native plants and altering the way an ecosystem functions. This can lead to fewer birds and wildlife, as well as other negative effects on natural processes. As a token of appreciation for their efforts, all volunteers will receive a free Take Back the Forest t-shirt.
The IMA calendar is full of opportunities to volunteer, but here are three big events coming up:
Earth Week, April 20 - 27:
This is a special week to celebrate the earth! It includes both Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 26). Many IMA sites have workdays scheduled that week.
Global Youth Service Day, April 27:
Various sites will offer volunteer opportunities to cut, pull, and bag invasive species, help save trees, and return the natural balance to our forests.
Virginia’s Annual Invasive Plant Removal Day, May 4:
Events will be held statewide over a two-week period. Most IMA sites will focus on the removal of garlic mustard, a biennial herb which threatens native plants and animals in forest communities by outcompeting native plants with copious amounts of seed and by secreting a chemical that prevents the germination of other plants. This is a plant that is easy for even the youngest nature lover to pull!
If you have any questions or would like to RSVP for an event, contact IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder by phone 703-324-8681 or email Erin.Stockschlaeder@fairfaxcounty.gov. Check the calendar of events
for other opportunities.