Community Protectors

Protect Your Community From Invasive Species Threats

 The trees that line our streets and the green spaces we like to gather in, make our communities a nice place to call home. 

Invasive tree pests and plants reduce the health of our trees and urban forests. 

Follow the steps below to protect your community from invasive species threats. 

Agreeing to take these actions awards you this Community Protectors Badge. 

Download this image and share it on social media to show how you’re a Community Protector! To download, right-click the image and select “save as” to save it to your device. Then upload it on social media – tag @sleloprisminvasives or use hashtag #iPledgeToProtect.

Simple Steps

  • Adopt a Tree. Sign up to help monitor trees in Watertown, NY for signs of forest pests and health decline. 
  • Volunteer with local environmentally-based organizations in your community. 
  • Tree Health. If your community has a tree committee or a group of people who help maintain the health of trees, offer to help. 
  • Don’t compost invasive plants (Ex: Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, wild parsnip).
  • Grow plants native to your region.
  • Clean your lawnmower and all-terrain vehicles after use to avoid spreading seeds. 
  • Diversify your landscape.
  • Use mulch that has been kiln-dried or make your own mulch.
  • Monitor for invasive plants in new project areas, or areas where aggregate or topsoil has been brought in. 
  • Check your vehicle and outdoor gear for signs of hitchhiking bugs or egg masses. Insects like the spotted lanternfly can easily hitchhike or lay eggs on vehicles and gear. Remove and dispose of anything that looks like an egg mass or live insect.

Know Your Invasives

Learn to recognize invasive species you may encounter in your community.


Best management practices, treatment options, and guides.

Get Involved

Report invasives found in communities and assist early detection efforts. 

Aid Early Detection Efforts

Searching for invasive species populations in an effort to detect their presence before their populations become too large to manage is vital to reducing the impacts of invasive species on our natural ecosystems.

Click the link below to learn more about the species we’re enhancing early detection efforts for and to join our invasive species Volunteer Surveillance Network to aid this effort (training will be provided). 

Report Invasive Species

NYiMapInvasives is an online, collaborative, GIS-based database and mapping tool that serves as the official invasive species database for New York State.

 Click the links below to become familiar with iMap

Join a statewide early detection effort for spotted lanternfly and tree of heaven by adopting a grid square to survey for these species through iMapInvasives. 


Watch webinars, view brochures and other resources to help you protect your community from invasive species. 


If you are involved in the management of urban forests and street trees in your community, the Urban Forest Sustainability Guide can help you enhance the resiliency of your trees against climate change and invasive species. 

If you live in the City of Watertown, NY, you can join a pilot program and adopt a tree to monitor for signs of invasive pests. 

Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) is a collaborative initiative to promote the long-term health of urban trees by providing free tools and resources such as a smartphone application (“app”), a web-based project management dashboard, and training resources.

The SLF Spotters Program aims to raise awareness of spotted lanternfly while tracking the impact of the outreach effort. The program engages local businesses whose customers may be traveling from SLF quarantine zones. Participating businesses receive SLF outreach materials to distribute to their customers, who may be unknowingly transporting the insect.


SLELO PRISM’s Urban Forest Sustainability Guide. An initiative to help our communities sustain urban forest health by maintaining diverse, climate adaptable, and invasive species resistant trees. 

Discover native plants, ranked by the number of butterfly and moth species that use them as host plants for their caterpillars.

An easy-to-use mobile app that helps you identify native and invasive plants and animals. 

A science-based platform to share observations of plants and animals with a community of naturalists. 

NYiMapInvasives.org is the offical invasive species database for New York State. Professionals and community scientists alike can utilize this platform to report and obtain distribution data for invasives across the state. 

The Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool (IPMDAT) helps natural resource managers to determine if an invasive plant control project is likely to be successful and if it warrants an investment of their agency’s or organizations resources.


Check out this YouTube playlist with a variety of invasive forest pests to keep an eye out for in your urban forests. 

This playlist was developed by our partners at the Lower Hudson PRISM.