Group Volunteer Opportunities Invasive Species Removal

WOODY INVASIVE PLANT REMOVAL (February - March) Riverview Park Chapel Shelter

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

366 Riverview Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15214

Invasive woody plants, which include vines, shrubs, and trees, outcompete natives and create monocultures that offer little value to wildlife. They spread prolifically by seed and have few predators to keep them at a more manageable population. Vining species can cover lower layers of the forest and climb up trees, ultimately causing the tree to fall if kept unchecked. The prevalent woodies we will target in Riverview Park are Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, Vinca, Jetbead, Japanese Knotweed, Tree of Heaven and Bush Honeysuckle. Though there are specific times of the year that they should be targeted prior to going to seed, the fall and winter are when we can allocate our time to manage them. They are also very easily recognizable during these times as many of them stand out among the stark landscape with their evergreen foliage or fruit.

Dependent on the dominant species in the area we begin work in, plants will be removed mechanically by hand pulling, cutting with hand pruners or loppers, or using a weed when necessary and safe. Bittersweet, honeysuckle, and vinca creeping across the ground will be pulled and placed in the crotches of trees, ensuring they will die and not re-root. Vines growing up trees will be cut off trucks at eye level and top growth will die. We do not pull vines out of trees because it could cause branches or even dead trees to fall. Jetbead, knotweed, tree of heaven and bush honeysuckle can be pulled when small enough and on a level surface. The larger ones and the ones on sloping sections will be cut to the ground and chopped up into smaller pieces. These plants will grow back but with continual visits to chop them back they will die out and native species will begin to take hold. *We will then spread a native seed mix on the site to compete with this invasive. We will have clean gloves available, but due to Covid we ask folks bring their own gloves when possible.

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle. We recommend volunteers check the hourly forecast before arriving so that they can come prepared for the weather (eg. extra water, sunscreen or sunhats, bug spray, and rain jackets or sweatshirts). 

DONATE

A suggested donation of $800 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Riverview Park sign with Chapel Shelter in background

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: Three Hours
Season: February through March

  • February Options: 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 
  • March Options: 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 

Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: Yes
Staff:  One to Two Staff Members
Internal Lead: Maggie
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Maggie Herrick (mherrick@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD (March - May) Mt. Washington Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Bailey Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of our restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for PPC staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended.  

DONATE

A suggested donation of $480 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

UPMC Pitt Volunteer with gardening shears

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Twenty
Event duration: Two Hours
Season: March through May (3/23-5/13)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: Yes
Staff:  Two Staff Members
Internal Lead: Robin
Bathrooms: None
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Robin Eng (reng@pittsburghparks.org), Restoration Gardener for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD ( March - May) Emerald View Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Bailey Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. The Parks Conservancy staff will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended.  

DONATE

A suggested donation of $480 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Photo of volunteers with shovels

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Twenty
Event duration: Two Hours
Season: March through May (3/23-5/13)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: Yes
Staff:  Two Staff Members 
Internal Lead: Robin
Bathrooms: None
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Robin Eng (reng@pittsburghparks.org), Restoration Gardener for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD ( March - April) Riverview Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Chapel Shelter Slope and Snyder’s Point366 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. 15214

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle. We recommend volunteers check the hourly forecast before arriving so that they can come prepared for the weather (eg. extra water, sunscreen or sunhats, bug spray, and rain jackets or sweatshirts).

DONATE

A suggested donation of $570 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Riverview Park Chapel Shelter with blooming flowers

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen 
Event duration: One - Three Hours
Season: March through April

  • March Options- March 22, 23, 24, 25, or 26 
  • April Options- April 6, 7, 8, or 9 

Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No - Weeding; Yes - Native Seeds
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Internal Lead: Maggie
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Maggie Herrick (mherrick@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD (Early April) Schenley Park Visitor's Center

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

101 Panther Hollow Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended.  

DONATE

A suggested donation between $280 - $330 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Image of the front of the Schenley Park Cafe Visitor Center

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: One - Three Hours
Season: Early April (4/1 - 4/15)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Paid, On-Street Parking

QUESTIONS?

Contact Jaci Bruschi (jbruschi@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD (Early April) Frick Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA. 

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended.  

DONATE

A suggested donation between $280 - $330 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Trail, a picnic table, and trees in Frick Park

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: One - Three Hours
Season: Early April (4/1 - 4/15)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Angela Yuele (ayuele@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD (Late April) Frick Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA. 

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Our primary means of controlling garlic mustard is hand-pulling the plants before they have gone to seed in the springtime months. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will be bagging the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.   

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended.  

DONATE

A suggested donation between $280 - $330 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Frick Environmental Center with a rainbow behind it

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: One - Three Hours
Season: Late April (4/20 - 4/30)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Angela Yuele (ayuele@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: GARLIC MUSTARD (Late April) Schenley Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS 

WHERE

101 Panther Hollow Rd, Pittsburgh, PA

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. Part of the restoration efforts include removing this plant from targeted areas where we are working to re-establish native plant species.   

Pulling (aka. Weeding) garlic mustard is a fairly straightforward task. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because garlic mustard seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will bag the removed plants for the Parks Conservancy staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.  We will have clean gloves available, but due to Covid we ask folks bring their own gloves when possible. 

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle.

DONATE

A suggested donation between $280 - $330 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

The front of the Schenley Park Cafe Visitor Center

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: One - Three Hours
Season: Late April (4/20 - 4/30)
Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: On-Street, Paid

QUESTIONS?

Contact Jaci Bruschi (jbruschi@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL: STILTGRASS ( May - June) Riverview Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Chapel Shelter Slope and Snyder’s Point366 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. 15214

Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium viminium) is an invasive herbaceous plant that out-competes native groundcovers and reduces soil quality throughout the northeastern United States. It is a prolific seeder, roots on soil contact, and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. The timing is key in removing stiltgrass to ensure it does not go to seed. Weeding the whole plant prior to flowering instead of cutting it back guarantees it cannot produce seeds later in the season. Seeds are often spread by sticking to shoes, clothes, and tools so we ask that participants are vigilant in cleaning personal materials that are used on infested sites. 

Pulling (aka. Weeding) stiltgrass is a straightforward task. We will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips to successfully removing the plant, roots and all. Because stiltgrass seeds will continue to mature even after the plant has been pulled from the ground, we will bag the removed plants for PPC staff to dispose of in quarantined sites. *We will then spread a native seed mix on the site to compete with this invasive. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail.  We will have clean gloves available, but due to COVID-19, we are asking volunteers to bring their own gloves when possible. 

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle. We recommend volunteers check the hourly forecast before arriving so that they can come prepared for the weather (eg. extra water, sunscreen or sunhats, bug spray, and rain jackets or sweatshirts). 

DONATE

A suggested donation of $570 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Riverview Park Chapel Shelter with blooming flowers

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: Two - Three Hours
Season: March through April

  • May Options- May 17, 18, 19, 20
  • June Options- June 23, 24, 25 

Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: No - Weeding; Yes - Native Seeds
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Internal Lead: Maggie
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Maggie Herrick (mherrick@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

WOODY INVASIVE PLANT REMOVAL (November - December) Riverview Park Chapel Shelter

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

366 Riverview Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15214

Invasive woody plants, which include vines, shrubs, and trees, outcompete natives and create monocultures that offer little value to wildlife. They spread prolifically by seed and have few predators to keep them at a more manageable population. Vining species can cover lower layers of the forest and climb up trees, ultimately causing the tree to fall if kept unchecked. The prevalent woodies we will target in Riverview Park are Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, Vinca, Jetbead, Japanese Knotweed, Tree of Heaven and Bush Honeysuckle. Though there are specific times of the year that they should be targeted prior to going to seed, the fall and winter is when the Parks Conservancy staff can allocate their time to manage them. They are also very easily recognizable during these times as many of them stand out among the stark landscape with their evergreen foliage or fruit.

Dependent on the dominant species in the area the Parks Conservancy begins work in, plants will be removed mechanically by hand pulling, cutting with hand pruners or loppers, or using a weed when necessary and safe. Bittersweet, honeysuckle, and vinca creeping across the ground will be pulled and placed in the crotches of trees, ensuring they will die and not re-root. Vines growing up trees will be cut off trucks at eye level and top growth will die. The Parks Conservancy does not pull vines out of trees because it could cause branches or even dead trees to fall. Jetbead, knotweed, tree of heaven and bush honeysuckle can be pulled when small enough and on a level surface. The larger ones and the ones on sloping sections will be cut to the ground and chopped up into smaller pieces. These plants will grow back but with continual visits to chop them back they will die out and native species will begin to take hold. The Parks Conservancy staff will then spread a native seed mix on the site to compete with this invasive. Clean gloves will be available, but due to COVID-19, we are asking volunteers bring their own gloves when possible.

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle. We recommend volunteers check the hourly forecast before arriving so that they can come prepared for the weather (eg. extra water, sunscreen or sunhats, bug spray, and rain jackets or sweatshirts). 

DONATE

A suggested donation of $800 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

Riverview Park sign with Chapel Shelter in background

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: Five - Fifteen
Event duration: Three Hours
Season: November through December

  • November Options: 22,23, 29 or 30 
  • December Options: 6, 7, 8, or 9

Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: Yes
Staff:  One - Two Staff Members
Internal Lead: Maggie
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Maggie Herrick (mherrick@pittsburghparks.org) for more information. 

WOODY KNOTWEED CONTROL (December and February) August Wilson Park

VOLUNTEER EVENT DETAILS

WHERE

Intersection of Cliff and Cassatt Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that out-competes native groundcovers and creates a monoculture offering little wildlife value. It is a prolific seeder and disrupts important mutualisms between native plants and other soil organisms. 

The Parks Conservancy staff will teach your team members how to identify the plant, and some tips for control. They will be cut to the ground and chopped up into smaller pieces. These plants will grow back but with continual visits to chop them back they will die out and native species will begin to take hold. The staff  will then show you how to spread a native seed mix on the site to compete with this invasive. Restoration sites are often located a short hike from the parking location and require working off-trail. The staff will have clean gloves available, but due to COVID-19, are asking volunteers to bring their own gloves when possible.

SAFETY

Working in the woods comes with a few inherent risks. Poison ivy, ticks, mosquitos, and jagger-bushes might be present, and the terrain can be uneven and occasionally steep. Volunteers are required to wear close-toed shoes, and long pants are highly recommended. Please bring your own water bottle. The Parks Conservancy staff recommends that volunteers check the hourly forecast before arriving so that they can come prepared for the weather (eg. extra water, sunscreen or sunhats, bug spray, and rain jackets or sweatshirts). 

DONATE

A suggested donation of $200 will help cover the costs of materials and staff hours for this event, and for future maintenance of the site. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated!  

An image of August Wilson Park.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Number of  Volunteers: 5 - 10
Event duration: Two Hours
Season: December and February

  • December Options: 14, 15, 16, or 17 
  • February Options: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 

Work Type:  Ecological Restoration
Difficulty: Moderate
Funding support: Not supported
Contingent on Donation: Yes
Staff:  One Staff Member
Internal Lead: Maggie
Bathrooms: Yes (port-a-potty)
Parking: Free

QUESTIONS?

Contact Maggie Herrick (mherrick@pittsburghparks.org) for more information.