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People-Powered Science: Become a Trail Weed Watcher

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Apr 24, 2018 10:56 AM |

Join the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council (PNW IPC) for a citizen science project to learn about invasive plants in the Pacific Northwest and help stop their spread.

Join the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council (PNW IPC) for a community science project to learn more about invasive plant species in the Pacific Northwest and help stop their spread.

scotch broom_ani moreland.jpg
Scotch Broom is an invasive plant found in highway medians. It is terrible. Photo by Bonnie Moreland. 

Ivy. Scotch Broom. Himalayan Blackberry. Some of the most familiar plants on trail or in the garden are actually invasive species. But just because they're common doesn't mean they're good for the environment. Invasive plants shoulder out natives, creating monocultures and disrupting the environmental balance.

Luckily, you can help stop their spread! To combat the impact of invasive plant species, the PNW IPC began the Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Citizen Science program. The goal of this program is to help collect information on the abundance and distribution of invasive plant populations and to share that data with the land managers who can best tackle to invasion. The PNW IPC works in partnership with national forests and parks, the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), various county noxious weed programs, and other local groups.

Get Involved

To become an official weed watcher with the PNW IPC, you must participate in a a free 2.5 hour training and commit to at least 1-2 surveys over the field season. As a volunteer, you will learn how to identify invasive plants around Washington, record data on your findings and report your findings online to the PNW IPC.

View the schedule of upcoming trainings below and sign up today!

  • Seattle, WA, Monday, May 7, 6:00pm-8:30pm
    The Mountaineers Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle WA 98115
  • Bellingham, WA, Friday, May 11, 1:00pm-3:30pm
    Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control Board, 322 N. Commercial St., Suite 110, Bellingham WA 98225
  • Sandy, OR, Friday, May 18, 9:00am-11:30am
    Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters, 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR 97055
  • Olympia, WA, Friday, June 1, 10:00am-12:30pm
    Olympic National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW Olympia, WA 98502
  • North Bend, WA, Sunday, June 3, 12:30pm-4:30pm (includes a bonus field training)
    Snoqualmie District North Bend Ranger Station, Meeting Hall, 902 SE North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045
  • Stevenson, WA, Monday June 4, 2:30pm-5:00pm
    Hegewald Center, 710 SW Rock Creek Dr, Stevenson, WA 98648
  • Port Hadlock, WA, Friday, June 8, 10:00am-12:30pm
    WSU Jefferson County Extension, 121 Oak Bay Rd, Port Hadlock, WA 9833
  • Randle, WA, Thursday, June 14, 9:30am-2:30pm (includes a bonus field training)
    Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station, 10024 US Highway 12, Randle, WA 98377

To register for a training, contact Andrew Fraser at or register for King County sessions (Seattle and North Bend) here.