Glacier’s beauty includes the diversity of plant and animal life within its one million acres. Wildflower watchers enjoy the delicate painted petals of the Calypso orchid or the flashy colors of the Indian paintbrush. In fact, Glacier National Park hosts over 1,000 different types of plants, but our unique native flora has serious competition. There are currently 126 non-native plant species within the park. Many of them are not invasive, but the list does include 20 noxious weeds, or highly invasive plants, that are a direct threat to the proliferation of native plant communities.

The Invasive Plant Citizen Science Project trains citizen scientists to detect and report the locations of targeted invasive plants in the backcountry, assisting park managers with detecting new locations of these plants. Citizen scientists learn how to identify five species of noxious weeds that are already well-established in the park as well as three additional watch-list species that have been found in locations near Glacier’s borders.

Having the additional eyes of citizen scientists on the park’s plant communities helps Glacier’s Invasive Plant Management Team become aware of and treat new infestations before they become established. Participants interested in getting involved with our Invasive Plant Project can be trained in one of two ways:

1)  Complete our on-line training session.
2)  Attend our annual Weed Blitz in late July.

Volunteers identify noxious weeds, NPS photoKnapweed, NPS photoVolunteer hauling away garbage bag full of noxious weeds, NPS photoIf you would like to learn more about the Invasive Plant Citizen Science Project, please download a copy of the education presentation as well as an example of a survey form, found below, or view a podcast about the program.

Invasive Plant Citizen Science Online Training (6.3 MB)

Invasive Plant Survey Form (604 KB) Please download prior to training