Forest Hero! Network:
From 2018-2021, a collaboration between Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, and VTinvasives.org, developed a network of Forest Hero! volunteers, who are people willing to provide local leadership in communities, motivating neighbors to engage in invasive plant management. These amazing volunteers continue to support healthy forests in their towns and neighborhoods, doing everything from writing articles in their local papers, creating seasonal teaching displays at the town general store, organizing pull events in community green spaces, volunteering for local parks departments to add capacity to those stewardship efforts, giving talks to garden clubs, and so much more.
The Forest Hero! Network continues on, supported by FPR staff, and connected by specially designed newsletters and workshops.
We’d like to acknowledge the financial and technical support provided by the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry that enables us to run projects and provide outreach such as this.
Resources for the Forest Hero! Network
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation began the work that would become the Invasive Plant Program in 2013. The initial thought was to hire trail crews to treat invasive plant infestations in State Forests and State Parks throughout Vermont. But with so much land to protect, and limited resources to do the work, it became clear that even more hands involved would be needed. To enact large-scale change, the program needed to engage not only professionals but also community champions -- our Forest Hero! volunteers.
A Forest Hero! is a person willing to provide outreach in their community about invasive plants.
The Forest Hero! Network teaches volunteer community leaders:
- about the science of invasive plants,
- how to organize and support local efforts to address invasive plants,
- and provides tools for motivating neighbors to engage in invasive plant management.
Training Community Leaders
Interested in spreading the word, and not the plant by creating your own network of community leaders like the Forest Hero! Network? The Outreach page has resources to walk you through that from start to finish.