Volunteers Needed to Help Take Back The Forest

  • Sunday, April 06, 2014
  • VA
The Park Authority's national award-winning Invasive Management Area (IMA) program seeks volunteers to help "Take Back the Forest" this spring. For the third consecutive year volunteers will help restore parkland around the county. This year, IMA plans to host 625 volunteers during this two-month program, and there is always room for more helping hands.

During Take Back the Forest, volunteers will remove non-native invasive plants and replace them with native species. The work is hard but important, and at the end of a session volunteers can step back and see the immediate impacts of their efforts. In appreciation of their efforts, volunteers who help during April and May will receive a free Take Back the Forest t-shirt.

Invasive plants cause ecological harm by altering the way an ecosystem functions. This can lead to less wildlife, including fewer birds and butterflies, as well as other negative impacts on natural processes.

The IMA calendar is full of opportunities to volunteer, including several major events that fall during the Take Back the Forest promotional period:

Global Youth Service Days on April 5, 6, 12, and 13:
Several park sites will offer volunteer opportunities to cut, pull, and bag invasive species, help save trees, and return the natural balance to our forests.

Earth Week, April 19 through 26:
This is a special week to celebrate the earth. It includes both Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 25). Many IMA sites have workdays scheduled during that week. Virginia's Annual Invasive Plant Removal Day is May 3. Events will be held statewide over a two-week period.

For information or to RSVP for an event, call IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder at 703-324-8681 or via email at Erin.Stockschlaeder@fairfaxcounty.gov. For information and to view the calendar of events, visit www.Fairfaxcounty.gov/Parks/Resources/IMA.


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