Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and Virginia Master Naturalists, a program with which Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources partners, announced the first statewide Invasive Plant Removal Day. The program will take place at locations all over the state on Saturday, May 2.

Details for the event can be found online. Citizens are encouraged to participate and at this website can find exactly for which events in their own city they can sign up for; contact information for each city is also included.

“From kudzu to English ivy to tree of heaven, there are dozens of invasive species that are causing both ecological and economical harm,” explained Michelle Prysby, Virginia master naturalist coordinator, in describing the reason behind Invasive Plants Removal Day. “These invasive plants out-compete native species for the same resources, eventually harming trees, wildlife, and water quality. Removing invasive plants and sowing native flora is a fantastic way to restore water quality and wildlife habitat in any natural area,” she added.

Jenn Truong, invasive species control program coordinator of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Arlington County office, noted, “Invasive alien species are second only to habitat destruction as a primary cause of biodiversity loss globally. In Virginia alone, an estimated $1 billion annually is spent on invasive species management.”

Invasives have taken a firm foothold in many parts of the state and everyone’s help is needed to reclaim our natural areas. “Volunteers are key to helping spread the word, share the knowledge, and reduce the ecological and economic harm that these species are causing,” continued Truong.

Activities are planned throughout Virginia, including Arlington County, Charlottesville, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Reston, and Alexandria. Information for these and other locations can be found on the website.

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