What better way to enjoy the summer than to help protect your favorite outdoor places? Check out the upcoming events and volunteer opportunities we’re hosting this summer. Participating in any of these events will earn you a special Protector’s Challenge prize!

Volunteer Opportunities:

Water Protectors

This opportunity is for those who enjoy spending time on the water or who own waterfront property. 

Step 1: Sign up for a training.
Step 2: Use the information on our website to familiarize yourself with our priority aquatic invasive species (AIS).
Step 3: ‘Adopt a water‘ to survey. 
Step 4: Visit the adopted waterbody annually to monitor for AIS and report observations to NYiMapInvasive’s mobile app.

Learn More

Land Protectors

This opportunity is best for those who enjoy hiking, spending time in forests or who own land. 

Step 1: Sign up for a training.
Step 2: Use our VSN story map to familiarize yourself with priority invasive species you may encounter on land, and learn of suggested survey sites for each species. 
Step 3: Visit your favorite lands and trails to survey for priority species and report observations to NYiMapInvasives

Learn More

Assist Biocontrol Monitoring

Assist an emerald ash borer biocontrol monitoring program occurring on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from June 5th through September 25th at the SUNY Oswego Rice Creek Field Station. No experience is necessary and guidance will be given.

Learn More

Terrestrial Removal Efforts

Play a pivotal role in the management and prevention of invasive species by joining terrestrial removal efforts occurring throughout July and August. No experience is needed, and tools will be provided. The first of these removal efforts will be on July 12th. Fill out the registration form to join!

Water Chestnut Removals

On July 25, join the water chestnut removal on the Oswegatchie River. Arrive by 9:45 a.m. with your boat; the event starts at 10 a.m. with a water chestnut overview and hand-pull demo. Paddle between Heuvelton Boat Launch and Eel Weir State Park, covering 3 miles in 3-4 hours. Bring your watercraft and life jacket. Limited kayaks, canoe seats, and life jackets are available upon request. Register here.

On August 2, join the water chestnut removal at Guffin Bay from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Paddle between the boat launch and Guffin Creek, about 10-15 minutes. We will travel the creek and hand pull the water chestnut as they are encountered. Bring your watercraft and life jacket. Limited kayaks, canoe seats, and life jackets are available upon request. Register here.

How Else Can I Volunteer?

Can’t make it to an event? No worries! SLELO PRISM and our partners offer volunteer opportunities seasonally and sometimes throughout the year depending on needs. Sign up to be a volunteer to get notifications on upcoming events.

Get Involved, Get Rewards!

Attending any of the events hosted by SLELO or our partners count toward achievements with our Pledge-To-Protect Volunteer Challenge! Once you take the Pledge to Protect and attend a volunteer event, Protectors are eligible to win a prize. Fill out our redemption form to claim.

Activities to Help Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

You don’t have to attend a volunteer event to do your part; invasive species management can begin with everyday habits. Here are some simple yet effective actions you can take part in:

Clean, Drain, Dry

After boating or fishing, make sure to clean your gear thoroughly, drain all water from your equipment, and let it dry completely before entering another body of water. Learn more ways to beat the heat while protecting your water spaces with our Water Protectors Toolbox.

Boot & Gear Cleaning

Before and after hiking, biking, or camping, clean your boots and gear to remove any seeds, mud, or plant material that could harbor invasive species. Learn more simple ways to protect your favorite trails and green spaces with our Lands & Trails Protectors Toolbox.

Plant Native Species

When gardening or landscaping, choose native plants over non-native ones. Native plants support local wildlife and are less likely to become invasive. Learn more simple ways to protect your garden this summer with our Garden Protector’s Toolbox.

Educate and Advocate

Share information about invasive species with your friends, family, and community. The more people are aware, the greater the impact will be. Enhance invasive species awareness in your community using our social media toolbox.

Why it Matters

Invasive species can outcompete native plants and animals, disrupt ecosystems, and cause significant economic damage. By taking any of these suggested actions, you’re contributing to the preservation of your lands and waters for future generations and fulfilling your Pledge to Protect!