Adopt a Woodlot

Why Adopt a Woodlot?

Invasive species, like garlic mustard and common buckthorn, are causing big problems in our natural areas. They choke out our native trees, eliminate wildflowers and cause soil erosion.

The City is working on invasive species control but volunteers are need to help with the long term management of the many restoration sites in town.

  • Help improve wildlife habitat, support native plant populations and beautify natural areas
  • Volunteer work is self-directed – work on days that are convenient for you
  • Get fresh air and a workout!

No buckthorn or garlic mustardHow does the program work?

After you submit a volunteer application and your background check has cleared, City staff will connect you up with an area that needs adoption. The wooded area will typically have the mature buckthorn (the big stuff!) removed already.

Your job will be to control smaller buckthorn (4 to 8 feet tall) using hand tools. After cutting, you will treat the

stump with herbicide and leave the cut buckthorn on the ground to naturally decompose. Ideally, volunteers will also monitor and pull garlic mustard from their site.

Prior to starting the project, City staff will meet you onsite to train you in buckthorn and garlic mustard identification and herbicide use. As you work, you will keep the City staff updated on your progress and any questions that you have. Volunteer work will be integrated into other planned City work for the area which may include things like periodic controlled burns. Buckthorn removal is done from mid-June through November. Garlic Mustard removal is done in April-early May.

Who does what?

City will:

  • Provide training on invasive plant identification and removal
  • Provide herbicide kit for treatment of buckthorn stumps
  • Provide safety glasses and gloves
  • Provide larger scale work needed at restoration sites (this includes things like controlled burns or brush cutting)

Volunteer will:

  • Commit to adopting an area for at least two years
  • Commit to a minimum of one work day in the spring and two work days in the fall
  • Not conduct activities outside the scope of the project (tree trimmings, plantings, etc.) unless explicitly authorized
  • Provide cutting tools. Loppers are needed and a small pruning saw may be useful at some sites

Is this project for you?

  • Work is done in off-trail portions of City natural areas. These areas can contain steep slopes, tripping hazards, poison ivy, ticks, mosquitoes, hornets and other hazards.
  • Work involves the use of herbicide
  • Involves a significant amount of bending and stooping
  • Work is often done independently, unless volunteers sign up as a group

How do I sign up?

To start the sign up process, contact the Natural Resources Department at 952-895-4543 or email Caleb Ashling.