Become a Volunteer

The Adirondacks needs your help to stop the spread of invasive species. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) provides opportunities to volunteer with both its Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Projects. Contact us to inquire about additional volunteer opportunities that reflect your interests.

Volunteer Surveys for Aquatic Invasive Plants

Aquatic Volunteer Sandy Baehre monitors an Adirondack lake for aquatic invasive plants. Photo by Frank Baehre

Aquatic Volunteer Sandy Baehre monitors an Adirondack lake for aquatic invasive plants. Photo by Frank Baehre

Early detection of invasive species infestations provides the best opportunity for successful management and control. APIPP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Project provides trainings on how to survey for and document aquatic invasive species in the Adirondack region. Citizen volunteers and organizations can attend one of these training sessions to sharpen their identification skills of native and invasive aquatic plants and gain instruction on how to conduct a survey. A volunteer survey involves canoeing/kayaking or boating along the perimeter of a selected waterway at least once from mid-July to mid-September to look for aquatic invasive plants. Volunteers then document the area of shoreline they surveyed and any occurrence of aquatic invasive plants.

Volunteer surveys help to inform regional aquatic invasive species distribution maps.

Volunteer surveys help to inform regional aquatic invasive species distribution maps.

This information gathered by volunteers is recorded in a central aquatic invasive species database and online using iMapInvasives. Aquatic invasive species distribution maps are also created to document this information. This documentation serves to better inform the public and their representatives about aquatic invasive species infestations affecting Adirondack waters and focus needs for prevention and management. Past aquatic invaive plant training materials are available here. For detailed information on volunteer survey efforts, please review APIPP’s Annual Reports.

Volunteer Surveys for Aquatic Invasive Animals

Species such as spiny waterflea, Asian clam, and zebra mussels, among others, are on the move in the region. APIPP recently integrated aquatic invasive animal identification and survey training into its annual training program. The training schedule is available here.

For more information on volunteer opportunities for aquatic invasive species, please contact APIPP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator.

Volunteer Projects for Terrestrial Invasive Plants

The Terrestrial Invasive Species Project organizes volunteers to assist with inventory and control efforts across the PRISM. Citizens and organizations may attend a summer training session to sharpen their invasive plant identification skills and learn how to manage invasive plants on their own property. Invasive plant 533196_1.jpgoccurrences can be reported to the Terrestrial Project Coordinator to be incorporated into APIPP’s invasive plant distribution database. Volunteer data helps provide a more comprehensive understanding of terrestrial invasive species distribution in the region and contributes to APIPP’s management prioritization process.

The Terrestrial Invasive Species Project can also assist with coordinating volunteer work days for interested groups to manually control priority terrestrial invasive plant infestations. If your volunteer group is interested in hosting or participating in an invasive plant removal project, please contact APIPP’s Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator.

Volunteer Surveys for Terrestrial Invasive Animals

Species like hemlock woolly adelgid (top) and emerald ash borer (bottom) continue to expand their distribution in New York State.

Species like hemlock woolly adelgid (top) and emerald ash borer (bottom) continue to expand their distribution in New York State.

The Adirondacks remain relatively free of terrestrial invasive animals. However, species like the hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer, continue to advance towards the region. Early detection of these pests is crucial to minimize impacts to our forests and natural resources.

APIPP is partnering with the Adirondack Mountain Club to hold Backcountry Forest Pest Monitoring Trainings to equip volunteers with the skills necessary to detect and report invasive forest pests. Please refer to our training schedule for upcoming opportunities.

For more information on volunteer opportunities for terrestrial invasive species, please contact APIPP’s Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator.