• Botany • Weed/Invasive Species Control
Habitat Defenders is a restoration team focusing on revegetation efforts and controlling the worst of Shenandoah’s invasive plants. Invasive plants pose a serious threat to native plants and the health of wildlife habitat, and we need as many hands as we can get to slow the progress of these infestations. Our goals are to find volunteers willing to adopt priority sites throughout the park to be visited annually for removal of invasive plants, and invite concerned members of the public to aid us in a variety of volunteer events held year-round to improve our ecosystem.
RSVP for the Events
RSVP for the event is required by 5 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the event. Contact Bridget Harrison for additional information and to RSVP at email@example.com or by phone at 540-999-3500 x 3492.
Duties vary based on the event, but may include:
Using hand tools such as loppers, hand saws, and pruning shears to remove invasive plants
Hand-pulling invasive plants
Collecting seed from native plants for revegetation projects
Salvaging native plants
Transplanting seedlings into larger pots
Planting native vegetation in field locations
Weeding nursery beds where native plants will be propagated
The ability to identify the target invasive species (training provided)
The ability to use hand tools (tools and training provided)
Putting safety first in an outdoor work environment (protective equipment provided)
Exhibiting professionalism when working with others, and in regards to park visitors, who may stop to ask you questions
The ability to meet the physical demands of the task
Hiking moderate distance on uneven terrain, sometimes off-trail
Repetitive bending, stooping, crouching, reaching, kneeling, pulling, and grabbing
Using and transporting hand tools, and potentially removing trash bags of invasive plant debris from the work site
Outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions
Heat, humidity, wind, cold, and pleasant weather
Poison ivy, ticks, bears, snakes, gnats, mosquitos etc.
Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots. Bring anything you may need like food, water, sunscreen, bug repellent, jacket, hat and other personal comfort essentials. Personal protective equipment will be provided if necessary for the task (gloves, eye protection, etc.)
There is a possibility that the volunteers may be working with a Virginia Licensed Pesticide Applicator who may be applying herbicide as part of treatment. In these events, the volunteer will not be using herbicides, but may be assisting the applicator by cutting the vegetation to be treated, and so therefore may be in the vicinity of herbicide. All responsibility for safely measuring, transporting, applying and cleaning herbicide and herbicide equipment will be the sole responsibility of the licensed applicator.
Learning about plants and ecology
Developing skills that can build your resume
Having fun outdoors!
Getting an inside look at NPS operations
The satisfaction of doing good for a place you love ♥
Educating others on invasive plants and ecosystem conservation
Working with others who share your values
The potential to earn volunteer swag as you accumulate hours
2020 Event Dates
You can volunteer for one or all of these dates. You can volunteer for 1 hour or the entire day depending on your comfort and availability. Every moment is appreciated!
April 25th Mapping Invasive Plants with MAEDN App
May 2 Transplanting @HQ
May 4 Plant Salvage or Transplanting @TBD
June 6 Garlic Mustard and Wine Berry Pulling @Dickey Ridge