Invasive species arrived in Pennsylvania through many routes: in shipping crates, through the plant trade, escaping from captivity, and even stuck to the bottoms of people’s shoes. Yes, our enjoyment of the outdoors can contribute to the spread of these unwanted pests. Thankfully, there are big and small things we can do to help stop the spread of invasive species and enhance the habitat for our native plants and animals. Consider taking on one or more of the following actions to help combat invasive species in Pennsylvania.
- Don’t move firewood. Buy it where you’re going to burn it so you don’t help invasive insects hitch a ride across the state.
- Wash your gear. Kayaks, paddles, waders, pants, sock, and hiking boots can all help spread invasive plant seeds and roots that can then take root the next time you head outdoors.
- Pull ’em out. If you see an invasive plant in your yard, get rid of it. This might be as easy as pulling it out, but some may require more heavy duty methods. Consider volunteering for an invasive plant pulling event at a state park near you to do even more (good) damage.
More tips can be found on the DCNR website specifically devoted to the issue.
By taking these small but powerful steps, you can help make a dent in the invasive species problem and protect our native species. For more information, please visit these links:
- Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
- The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission page on aquatic invasives
- SeaGrant Pennsylvania
Invasive Land Plants
- The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture page on “noxious, invasive and poisonous plants”
- The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) fact sheets on invasive plants and trees
Bugs and Other Nasties
Keep an eye on the DCNR Calendar of Events and our PPFF events calendar. Invasive species removal projects are a key feature of volunteer projects, especially for events like Earth Day, I Love My State Parks Week, National Trails Day, National Public Lands Day.
And check out the guest blogs provided by Dr. Carolyn Sears: Weeding Your Garden Helps Pennsylvania’s State Parks and Forests and Management Strategies for Invasive Plants