Invasive plants prevent us from enjoying our forests. They degrade our natural ecosystems. Ever get stopped in the woods by climbing vines or shrubs with thorns? They may have been invasive species. Some of them, like multiflora rose, can completely swarm over a section of woods and block out everything else.
However, invasives can be thwarted. The Fairfax County Park Authority has a volunteer program that battles invasive species, removing them and replacing them with native species.
Get involved in protecting your local parks. Volunteer for the Invasive Management Area program. Even a few hours on a single day will help.
Students and scouts, do you need to earn some community service hours? IMA is the program for you! Sign up using the IMA Workday Calendar below to get involved.
The IMA calendar is your opportunity to volunteer. Use it to find IMA dates convenient for you. Youth, adults, scouts and groups all help. If you do not see a date that works for you, please contact the IMA coordinator who will happily help place your group.
To join a workday, click on the red IMA Workday Calendar.
Questions about invasive plants? Email: FCPAInvasiveManagement@fairfaxcounty.gov
Questions about volunteering? Contact Gloria Medina or call at 703-324-6525.
Wear sturdy shoes, gloves, long pants and long sleeves. Bring water. Tools are provided.
Enjoy the company of others who care about the environment while learning about your local forests.
The Early Detection and Rapid Response program finds new populations of certain invasive species as they are starting to invade an area and then eradicates them before they cause serious harm in county parks.
Tree Rescuers work independently to clip vines and give trees time.
“For me, IMA is about people of all socio-demographic backgrounds who share a passion for volunteering to protect Fairfax County parks.”
“This program allows for tool, plants, seeds, and bags to be distributed to volunteers so they can do the hard work of removing invasive plants from our parks.”
“This program is an excellent way for volunteers to eradicate weeds such as English ivy, oriental bittersweet, garlic mustard, and Chinese wisteria from the county parks while providing participants with education about these species, benefits of natives, and how to improve water quality.”
“The support I received from the IMA program, including professional assistance, and tangible items like plastic bags, gloves and the use of tools, was amazing.”
Josiah T. Williams, Troop 1257 - Oakton, VA. Date of Project: 7/02/2021
Powhatan District, NCAC
Josiah Williams led an Eagle Scout project with the help of Boy Scouts Troop 1257 to remove invasive plants from parkland. The project was completed at the IMA Site at Little Difficult Run Stream Valley Park, in Herndon, VA. Please contact the Park Authority IMA Program before removing any plants.
Invasive plants removed in the project include:
Photo credits: Josiah Williams
We thank our many partners for their continued support of IMA.