Grab A Fistful of Invasive Plants and Help Take Back the Forest

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Take Back the Forest campaign begins next Sunday (April 15) and runs through May 15. The program, which supports forest conservation initiatives, is a good fit for students or scouts looking to fulfill required service hours.

Over the campaign’s 31 days, the Park Authority plans to host 500 volunteers at 40 Invasive Management Area (IMA) sites throughout the county. IMA is a volunteer program designed to reduce invasive plants on parkland, and the Park Authority is looking for residents to fill those 500 slots.

It’s an ambitious challenge. About 200 people helped last spring at IMA sites. Natural Resource Specialist Kristen Sinclair, who oversees the program, says the Park Authority has already reached out to local teens with a t-shirt design contest that was won by 18-year-old Katherine Fairbanks of Fairfax Station.

Her design of a child’s fist holding a plant will appear on t-shirts that will be distributed to the program’s volunteers. Volunteers also will receive a customized pack of playing cards that feature the “Invasive Species of Fairfax County.”

For more information about volunteering call 703-324-8586.