Volunteer removing invasive species

Invasive Species Program


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What are Invasive Species? Habitat Heroes Teacher Toolbox Upcoming Events Tracking Invasive Species
Parks staff clearing invasive english ivy from tree trunk in Raleigh park

The Invasive Species Program was created to assist with the management of invasive species within the Raleigh Parks System. The program serves as a resource to manage infestations, prevent introductions, and provide educational opportunities to all citizens. Interested individuals and groups can volunteer to assist with managing the invasive species in our parks.

What are Invasive Species?

Volunteer helping Raleigh parks staff clear invasive plants

Invasive plant species are non-native aggressive plants that threaten and degrade our ecosystems. Fast-growing and reproducing quickly, invasives shade out native plant seedlings, smother trees, and outcompete for resources such as light, water, and soil nutrients. By preventing native species (even oaks!) from growing, invasives prevent native birds and other animals from completing their life cycles. This changes the profile of our forests and open spaces. 

Invasive Plant Species

English Ivy

Johnsongrass

Asian Wisteria

Kudzu

Privet

Many invasive plants in Raleigh are evergreen and produce a lot of pollen, creating safety hazards for people such as visual obstructions along our greenways and roads and health hazards during peak pollen seasons. Preventing, removing, and monitoring for new infestations are important steps to maintain the ecosystem and human health.

Habitat Heroes

Parks volunteers standing with cleared invasive plants

Do you want to help preserve Raleigh's precious green spaces? Join the Habitat Heroes Program. This program is an opportunity for individuals or groups to adopt one of our 220 parks or a section of our 120 miles of greenway trails throughout the city. By adopting, the group or individual agrees to volunteer at least once every four months of their year-long adoption period.

Help us preserve ecosystems by while removing or mapping invasive plants. Volunteers can also assist with early detection and rapid response by being the eyes of the Invasive Program. Finding and reporting new infestations or other notable occurrences help limit the spread of invasive species and protect valuable wildlife habitat

To coordinate a group invasive removal project, complete the group project interest form and submit to Leigh Bragassa.

"Volunteering with the Raleigh Parks department to remove invasive species has been an enjoyable way to spend time in Raleigh's wonderful parks and it's very satisfying to know my efforts help keep their natural spaces healthy and vibrant."

- Sam Martin, AAP Volunteer; Carolina Pines Park

Teacher Toolbox

The Invasive Species Program has guest speakers available who can visit your classroom, lead a nature hike, or coordinate service learning for your students. Check out our fun activity sheets to use as a learning resource.

Upcoming Events

Pre-registration is required of ALL volunteers to ensure enough tools and supplies are available for invasive removal park projects.

Project Date Time Location  
Durant Invasive Removal May 16 9 a.m. - noon Durant Nature Preserve Register Now

Horseshoe Farm Nature PreserveHorseshoe Farm Nature Preserve

Tracking Invasive Species

Microstegium

Free applications let you contribute to citizen science while discovering habitats around you. Try SEEDN (Southeast Early Detection Network), iNaturalist, or SEEK to track invasive species and untangle the mysteries of the natural world. 

Contact

 

Leigh Bragassa

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Parks

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Related Events

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  1. Jun
    4
    6:00PM • Thursday

    Parks Committee

    Raleigh Municipal Building
    222 W. Hargett Street
    Room 305
    Raleigh, NC 27601

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