As part of the Invasive Species Centre’s 10-Year Anniversary, the Invasive Species Centre has awarded 24 microgrants of $1,000 each to support invasive species education and community action in Ontario. We’re featuring these projects throughout the year to help amplify the exciting microgrant project work being completed this year to support prevention and management of invasive species.
Over the spring and summer of 2021, the rare Reserve assembled a Land Steward Task Force made up of enthusiastic community groups and individuals prepared with the equipment, resources and training to monitor trails and combat invasive species on the land rare cares for.
Volunteers were trained in identifying, reporting, and removing common invasive species such as barberry, buckthorn, garlic mustard, and autumn olive.
The rare Charitable Research Reserve is an urban land trust and environmental institute in the Waterloo Region/ Wellington protecting almost 1,000 acres of highly sensitive lands. Their Land Steward Task Force has and will continue to play a key role in identifying and managing the 87 non-native plants that have been designated for management prioritization across their protected properties.
Each property is equipped with a safe storage container and the basic hand tools, safety equipment, and supplies required for the task force.
The Land Steward Task Force will continue to grow through peer-to-peer training and the commitment of community leaders assigned to develop their own teams.
The program has already proven to be an educational and rewarding experience for volunteers. Here is a quote from a raresites land steward:
Marilyn Baxter, raresites land steward, Eramosa River Corridor:
“Removing invasive species from natural areas is very satisfying volunteer work. rare staff generously share their expertise, enabling me to apply my newly learned skills to other nearby natural areas. Thank you rare!”
This success has boosted on-the-ground land stewardship action including an invasive species event to combat a large patch of periwinkle invading from an adjacent property and garlic mustard removal by individual and paired volunteers throughout May and June.