Invasive Species Program Expands

May 18, 2019
Brent Boscarino
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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Invasive Species Program Expands
Invasive Plant Species Identification Class.

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The Trail Conference expands efforts to protect parks and trails from the threat of invasive species.

The Lower Hudson PRISM (our local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) is a group of more than 50 organizations and concerned individuals who work together with funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prevent or minimize the harm caused by invasive species. The Lower Hudson PRISM is managed by the Trail Conference. As part of the Lower Hudson PRISM’s mission to protect the rich biodiversity of the region, the Trail Conference is excited to announce some additions to the invasive species programming in 2019.

Terrestrial Invasives and Citizen Science

The Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM have announced a new citizen science opportunity to trail users and the general public: a fun, monthly scavenger hunt-style challenge to help document invasive species in our region’s natural areas. The EcoQuest scavenger hunt employs an easy-to-use mobile app, iNaturalist, to photodocument a target invasive species (and native counterpart) in our local parks and trails over the course of a month. The data are then used by scientists to track the spread of the invasive in our region and help decide best management practices. In April, the theme is "Hello Yellow!", and users are challenged to hunt for two bright yellow spring bloomers: invasive lesser celandine and a native “look-alike,” marsh marigold. To learn more about the project and get involved in the fun, please visit the LHPRISM EcoQuest webpage or email Invasive Species Citizen Science Coordinator Brent Boscarino ([email protected]) for more information.

Aquatics Program Updates

Following a strong pilot year in 2018 with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program, run through the Lower Hudson PRISM, has now moved to Teatown Lake Reservation. At Teatown, new Aquatic Programs Coordinator Lindsay Yoder will help design early detection surveys and implement rapid response protocols to manage AIS in the region, in addition to leading outreach and education initiatives and running hands-on volunteer trainings. Lindsay will also oversee the Watercraft Inspection Steward Program for the PRISM, which provides direct mitigation of one of the primary pathways for aquatic invasive species: hitchhikers on boats. Lindsay will select, train, and deploy an AmeriCorps seasonal captain and crew to perform watercraft inspections, surveys, and assist in outreach to recreational users of Hudson Valley waterways. The five crew members are a part of the Trail Conference Conservation Corps as the Aquatic Invasives Strike Force (AISF) Crew.

“We are glad to welcome Lindsay onto the Teatown team and to partner with the LHPRISM to assist in combating this escalating threat,” said Kevin Carter, Executive Director of Teatown Lake Reservation. “As Teatown’s mission is to inspire our community to lifelong environmental stewardship, we recognize that combating invasive species will always be a communitybased effort—and Lindsay will help people learn what they can do.”

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