This article was featured in the 2023 Winter Newsletter by Mitch O’Neil-iMap.

The eastern hemlock is an iconic element of our forests – creating habitat wherever it stands tall and keeping our drinking water crisp and clear. An invasive insect called Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) threatens our hemlock stands in New York, but you can help by joining scientists, conservationists, and volunteers across the state in monitoring the spread of HWA.

From Feb 1st – March 15th, the NY Natural Heritage Program is hosting the 2nd Annual HWA Winter Mapping Challenge in partnership with the NYS Hemlock Initiative. Join the challenge to help map HWA along the “leading edge” of its current range, and compete to win a prize! To participate, find some hemlock trees in your area, check for HWA egg masses (look for white fuzz balls on the undersides of twigs), and report your findings to NY iMapInvasives. The iMap users who survey the most sites for HWA will win the challenge!

Visit the NY iMapInvasives website to learn more about the challenge, connect with HWA mapping efforts in your area, and sign up for the kick-off virtual event Tuesday, Feb 7th, at 11 am.


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