Year three of Take Back the Forest is under way, and volunteers will be lending hands and hearts to the Invasive Management Area (IMA) program through the end of May.
Take Back the Forest, supported by the Fairfax County Park Authority and REI, Inc., leads the fight against invasive plants in Fairfax County parks. IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder kicked off the program with volunteers at Nottoway Park at the beginning of April.
A lot of those vines and shrubs with thorns that prevent you from exploring parts of the parks are invasive plants. And those invasives are more than just inconveniences. They have a major impact on wildlife and other plants.
The IMA program runs year-round, but county residents who volunteer to give a little time to the program during the Take Back the Forest promotion get a bonus.
Pulling invasive plants out of parks isn’t the only task of IMA. Something has to take their place. IMA makes sure those replacements are native plants.
Written by Dave Ochs, stewardship communications manager, Fairfax County Park Authority