Citizen Scientists are trained to identify five invasive plants and map their locations in Glacier National Park. Citizen Scientists can be trained by attending the park’s annual Weed Blitz, held each year in July, or by downloading and viewing a PowerPoint presentation. The Weed Blitz is an all-day event where volunteers attend a training presentation in the morning from Glacier National Park’s Invasive Plant Management Program, and in the afternoon, volunteers separate into groups to search for and pull invasive plants.
Once trained, Citizen Scientists conduct surveys along Glacier National Park’s 700+ miles of hiking trails from June to September to determine the distribution and extent of the five targeted invasive species within the park. Species targeted by the program are Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Houndstongue, (Cynoglossum officinale), St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) and Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).
The Invasive Plant Citizen Science Project provides valuable data to the Invasive Plant Management Program in Glacier National Park. Volunteers map and report populations of invasive species which might otherwise have gone undetected, giving the park an opportunity to control them before they spread further.