Many natural ecosystems are being increasingly degraded by non-native plants and animals introduced from other parts of the world. Some of these introduced species are invasive, meaning they do not have any natural controls and spread rapidly. Global trade, human activities, recreation, and climate change are helping invasive species spread at accelerated rates.
Not All Green is Good: Have you seen trees wrapped in ivy vines? Towering stands of bamboo? White honeysuckle flowers springing into bloom? Invasive plants smother and compete with native vegetation, and ecosystems with invasive and exotic plants have significantly less wildlife and plant diversity than unaffected systems. Over 3400 species of alien plants have invaded 100 million acres of the U.S, and that area is expected to double in the next few years. You can help! Learn how to identify invasive plants so you can avoid planting them, and make an effective plan for invasive plant removal, management and replacement with native plants!
Pests Without Leaves: Invasive species are not just limited to plants. Insects like the Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian Long-Horned Beetle and the European Gypsy Moth are responsible for the destruction of millions of trees. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, nearly 200 invasive aquatic species have been recorded, including several species of fish, shellfish, mammals, birds and more. Learn how to identify invasive insects and other “pest” animal species and what to do next! Sometimes it’s as easy as learning to recognize a pest and knowing where to report the sighting to prevent its spread!
Before You Start
Design and Preparation
- Remove, Control & Replaces Invasive Plants
- Wildlife Problem-Solving
- Report Invasive Species
- Check Invasive Species Laws in Your State (and contact legislators!)
- Make Native / Invasive Plant Protest Cards (Model)
- Overview: Project Maintenance Basics
- (Also See Implementation Resources Above)
Using Your Project
- iMapInvasives Tools
- Smart Phone Apps to Monitor, Track & Report Invasive Species (USDA)
- Bay Backpack: Invasive Species Lessons & Activities
- Plant the Cleared Area with Native Plants
- Incorporate Outdoor Learning & Discovery Projects in the Cleared Area
- Eco School Sustainability Pathways Lessons & Resources
- Eco School National Standards & Curriculum Alignment
- Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings
- Eco Schools Green STEM Initiative