With National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 20-26) just around the corner, we wanted to call attention to the hard work our members are doing to combat these invaders.
Lining roads, populating waterways and lurking in your own backyard, non-native plants and animals have hitched a ride with humans and spread across the globe. Whether transported intentionally or as cargo ship stowaways, these pesky species are thriving to the detriment of native plants and animals.
Helping stop the spread is the SCA’s Native Plant Corps. These teams conduct exotic invasive plant mapping and removal using a variety of techniques to restore native plant communities across the country.
Last summer, the SCA’s George Washington Memorial Parkway Young Adult Invasive Species Team worked for 10 weeks alongside National Park Service George Washington Memorial Parkway staff to remove invasive species such as Autumn olive, Porcelain berry and Wisteria from along the parkway.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 50,000 animal and plant species in the United States are not naturally found here. Nearly 5,000 of those are considered invasive because of the ecological and economic damages they cause.
Invasive species are the reason behind more than 50% of native species being classified as either endangered or threatened. While the SCA’s Native Plant Corps is working to attack this threat, they can’t do it alone.