Invasive Plant Task Force - James River Park System

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2022 - Sunday, February 27 - Saturday, March 5

The James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force invites you to join us for our fourth annual observance of National Invasive Species Awareness Week! Every day offers opportunities to learn about the local environmental impact of invasive plant species and to work alongside task force members and other volunteers as we help heal our favorite places. At the end of the week, reward your work with a celebration at Legend Brewery! Download a full schedule of events here. [PDF]

(All volunteer events are listed on the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force calendar. Registration required. You can also find event registration directly on Hands On Greater Richmond.)

Sunday, February 27 NISAW Kickoff Event at Pony Pasture 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Display tent with information and activities
  • Guided walks with Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation-Natural Heritage Program ecologists 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Free-A-Tree volunteer event 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • RVA Goats!

Monday, February 28 Volunteer Events
Chapel Island 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Huguenot Flatwater (Free-A-Tree) 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1 Volunteer Event and Virtual Program with Richmond Public Library
Texas Beach 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

A Growing Problem: The Hidden Threat of Invasive Plants in Our Gardens & What We Can Do about It
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Please register for this event at Richmond Public Library.

Wednesday, March 2 Volunteer Event
Buttermilk Trail 10:00 a.m. - noon
Reedy Creek Park Headquarters 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 3 Volunteer Event
Belle Isle 9:00 a.m. - noon

Friday, March 4 Volunteer Event & Celebration at Legend Brewery
Ancarrow's Landing 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Boogie for the Biosphere volunteer appreciation event at Legend Brewery 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 5 Volunteer Event
Buttermilk Trail 10:00 a.m. – noon
The Wetlands 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

For more information about NISAW events and how to raise awareness about the impacts of invasive plants in the Richmond region, contact Laura Greenleaf at [email protected]

Virginia Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Natural Heritage
Blue Ridge PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management)
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Many thanks to the following for helping to remove Invasive Plant Species from the James River Park System:

Our Signature Sponsor:

And the following companies for their pro bono efforts in partnership with our many volunteers:

Bartlett Tree Experts Gadsen Duke Independent Arborist Contractor; Glen Allen Grounds Management; James River Nurseries, Inc.; Jamey Powell, Independent Certified Arborist Contractor; Project Green; John Richmond Landscaping; RVA Goats and Honey; Terra Forma Landscapes; TrueTimber Certified Arborists; H&A Landscaping; Sneed's Nursery; The Davey Tree Expert Company; Sawtooth Tree & Garden,LLC; Trillium Gardens; Rada Landscaping; Virginia Forestry and and Wildlife Group; Arborscapes, LLC; Moss Organic, LLC.; Virginia Green Lawn Care; Root Down Tree Management, Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association.

Public Health Policy for Volunteer Events

Please see our calendar for locations and dates. Volunteers should be prepared to follow the following minimum public health guidelines to protect themselves and others:

  • • Do not participate in an event if you have any symptoms of illness or believe you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus.
  • • During an event, avoid physical contact with others and maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others.
  • Have a face mask with you to use as necessary.
  • Observe basic precautions like covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue. Please see the James River Park System’s full guidelines for volunteers here. [PDF]


JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force focuses on Free-A-Tree to encourage tree preservation through invasive plant control

February 22nd through February 26th is the annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The past three years, the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force observed NISAW by hosting a week of special events beginning with a kick-off at Pony Pasture.

This year, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force is again offering numerous volunteer opportunities (with limits on group size), but no in-person educational events. Instead, the Task Force is bringing attention to the plight of Richmond’s tree canopy and raising awareness of the urgent need to preserve trees through invasive plant control. All of our February 2021 volunteer events will provide opportunities to learn about the impact of invasive vines on our urban woodlands and to get hands-on experience freeing trees from the grips of ivy and wintercreeper. Please check out our calendar for details and how to RSVP or register.

You can learn more about how invasive vines—primarily English ivy and wintercreeper—threaten the health and longevity of trees:
Invasive Plants Don't Take a Winter Break - Friends of James River Park
The Holly and the Ivy - Urban Forest Dweller

And you can find step-by-step guidelines for how to save your own trees at home here:
Is the Future Forested? - Urban Forest Dweller

Love the park? Here's a chance to help

How many volunteers does it take to fight invasive plants, save trees and native plant communities, and restore habitat?


The JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force is a volunteer effort. The park of the future depends on the volunteers of today. It just takes a can-do attitude and willingness to get your hands dirty. We’ll provide the training and tools. Check out our calendar for upcoming work days.

Please do not undertake unauthorized invasive removal in the park system on your own. The Task Force works strategically in targeted places according to evidence-based methods specific to the invasive species, seasonal timing, and other factors, prioritizing key goals and protecting sensitive resources.

See where invasives impact the James River

Map of study areas

Click on the map to reach the complete baseline study report by park unit.

Virginia's Least WantedWhat's new with the Task Force

Updates on Focus Project Areas

The list of Focus Project Areas is:

Updated information coming soon.

James River Association Proves Rewards of Restoration at Chapel Island

April 1, 2021
The James River Association is a long-standing lead member of the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force. JRA adopted Chapel Island as its project focus area, having already begun management work there in 2014, the year before the task force’s inception. The JRA/Chapel Island project showcases the impact of the long game that is invasive plant … Continue reading James River Association Proves Rewards of Restoration at Chapel Island Read more

Be a Hero: Volunteer and Help Save Our Trees

February 17, 2021
Every year since 2017, the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force has hosted a week of special events to observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week the end of February. This year is, of course, different. No kick-off event with guided botanical walks and information booth with “name that invasive plant” quizzes and native … Continue reading Be a Hero: Volunteer and Help Save Our Trees Read more

Volunteers Continue to Transform Rapids Restoration Area

January 6, 2021
2020 was a year of adaptability and resilience. This was as true for our work in the park system as in every other area of our lives. Once Virginia’s phased reopening allowed for it, the park system and the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force had new volunteer guidelines in place so that we could safely … Continue reading Volunteers Continue to Transform Rapids Restoration Area Read more

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Virginia's Least Wanted