Online Learning Library

The Trail Conference offers digital learning and engagement opportunities for volunteers. From live webinars to on-demand content, we're providing workshops and lectures to boost your skills and knowledge. Many of the below courses count towards our Trail U program.

Sincere thanks to our friends at Subaru Distributors Corp. for their generous support for helping to make these webinars and workshops possible.

Content Categories

Volunteer Skills Training
     -Trail Skills
     -Ecological Stewardship and Invasives Skills

General Skills Training
      -The Ecosystem Around You
      -Preparing for the Trail
      -Making the Most of Your Legacy Series

"Trail Talks"
      -Making Trails and Navigation Possible     
 -Exploring the Region
      -Trail Insider Series    

Volunteer Skills Training

Trail Skills

Trail Maintenance

Corridor Monitoring

Trail Building


Ecological Stewardship and Invasives Skills

2023 Invasives Strike Force Training Resources and Webinars

Below is a series of training videos for Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force Survey Program. This community science program is designed to help with the mapping of high priority and/or emerging invasive species in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York and northern New Jersey. If you are interested in potentially becoming an Invasives Strike Force Surveyor, please contact our invasive species team by emailing us at [email protected] for the next steps.

For all volunteers who have been in touch with us and are ready for the next steps in training or you are simply looking for access to on-demand survey training resources, look no further than the next sections for help!

Invasives Strike Force Survey Resources

Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 1 (Species ID)
Description: This video is the first of two required training videos for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force Survey Program. This required course helps Invasives Strike Force volunteers to identify four high priority invasive species (beech leaf disease, spotted lanternfly, tree of heaven and hemlock woolly adelgid) as well as one emerging invasive plant that rotates depending on the month you begin surveying. For now, that plant is Black and Pale Swallow-wort. As trained volunteers, you will then conduct monitoring along assigned trail sections that are convenient to your own home and according to a schedule that works for you! 

Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 2 (Survey Protocols)
Description: This video outlines the data collection and reporting protocols for the Invasives Strike Force Survey Program organized by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM. This webinar is a combination of a live Powerpoint presentation and taped video demonstrations of the field survey, data recording and data reporting process. Once completed with this part of your training, you will officially be ready to take on an assignment and become an official ISF surveyor in 2023!

ISF Survey Species QuickID Guide : Key features and photos of all the species on the 2023 ISF Survey species list

Hemlock Health Assessment Guide: Examples to help with coding for hemlock health assessment portion of the data sheet. See note below on the data sheet on how the coding has changed slightly.

ISF Survey Field Data Sheet : This is a .pdf of the data sheet you will need to take with you into the field if you have volunteered as an ISF Standard surveyor. Please take at least 5 copies of this document with you when you go out! Please note that the coding for the hemlock health assessment is slightly different than in the training webinar (the coding is now "healthy, moderate or unhealthy" versus high, moderate, low. We changed the wording to make it feel a little more intuitive and consistent)

Volunteer Service Agreement: Check this link to to see if you need to fill out a Volunteer Service Agreement for the park you've been assigned. This mainly applies to those of you who were assigned to a NYS State Park or State Forest. The State Park form is very easy to fill out- the State Forest one is a little more complicated so make sure to follow instructions.

Invasives Strike Force Parking Pass: While this isn't an official parking pass for the park, often showing this to a gate attendant and explaining your volunteer role will help with waiving parking fees.

Returning Data Instructions

There are three major steps to follow.

1. Make sure you complete STEP 9 of the Training Video to upload all the "yellow boxes" to iMap once you are back in wifi range. You can find this instruction starting at minute 1:05:11 of the ISF Training Video- Part 2 . Your field iMap data points can't be viewed by us until they are uploaded in the manner I refer to above!!!! It sometimes takes a while/takes a few attempts to upload these results even at home so be patient. I recommend uploading 5 yellow boxes at a time! They tick off/get processed one at a time which looks like it keeps "thinking" but it is actually processing (just slowly). Plug in your phone when you start uploading and do something else while it uploads (make dinner, call a friend, whatever)! You'll know everything went through successfully when all of the yellow boxes have disappeared (which means they uploaded properly and are no longer in the queue to be uploaded).

2. We also need everyone to take time out to transfer their written field data into Excel format. Here is the link to the Excel file template you will need to fill out. Please download and fill out this spreadsheet to transfer over the field data into. We have filled in the first 20 rectangle rows in the first column just so you are aware where the data goes and that each row represents a new rectangle. It's in the exact same format as the field data sheet essentially with the exception of cells A1-A4. Remember to count your travel to and from your survey site as part of your volunteer hours as well as count the time you spent inputting data and record the grand total in cell c3! Save the file in the format of SurveyorLastname_TrailName_2023. If we didn't give you an actual trail name in the assignment, just name it after the park and some other signifier such as blaze color or trail section name (e.g., FahnestockBlue or SouthMtnHemlockFallsTrail). We have records of what everyone did so it's easy for us to know exactly where you were.

3. Once the Excel spreadsheet is filled in, please email us at [email protected] to say you are done and have completed the above two steps with the Excel spreadsheet attached! 

Other Invasive Species Spotlight and Field Identification Videos (Not Part of the 2023 ISF Survey)

Check out our invasive species spotlight and field ID series! These short, ~5 minute videos highlight specific common, emerging and/or aquatic invasive species in our region. Each species spotlight video will feature information on the species' introduction history, ecology and impacts in addition to reasons for its invasion success and key ID features. For the species that are included in our Invasives Strike Force Survey program (and for other species featured in our monthly EcoQuest Challenge), we will also be releasing short field identification videos including how to tell it apart from other look-alikes!

Common Invasive Species

Emerging and Less Common Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species


General Skills Training


The Ecosystem Around You


Preparing for the Trail


Making the Most of Your Legacy Series


"Trail Talks"

Making Trails and Navigation Possible


Exploring the Region


Trail Insider Series


Keep checking our events calendar for new listings!