Identify & Manage Invasive Species

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

Overview: Project Planning Basics

Overview: School Grounds Site Assessment

Design and Preparation

Identify Invasive Plant & Animal Species

Implementation

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)

Maintenance

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

Sharing Your Project

Overview: Sharing Your Project

Resource Center

Eco Schools USA Handbook
National & State Green School Programs
Project Resource Library: Learn More!
Mid-Atlantic Invasive Species Council
Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)