The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Montgomery Parks to create e-courses for volunteers. Weed Warriors Basics, Non-native Invasives (NNI) 101 and Non-native Invasives (NNI) 102 are precursors to classroom and field training at Montgomery Parks. The basics course and NNI 101 are required for all volunteers. The courses will orient learners to the roles and responsibilities of all volunteers working in the Weed Warrior Program, as well as how to identify and control NNIs in Montgomery parks.
The threats posed by NNIs are not just a Montgomery Parks problem, or even a Maryland problem. The threat of NNIs is recognized at the national level. In 1999, an executive order was drafted to “take steps to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, and to support efforts to eradicate and control invasive species that are established.” In addition, a national council was established to oversee the application and implementation of that order. In 2016, the executive order was updated to expand the membership of the council and clarify the operations of the council.
The Weed Warrior Volunteers help Montgomery Parks achieve its goal of serving their community and inspiring people to take action in their own lives and landscapes to protect and support the natural environment.
The courses will be available to Montgomery Parks volunteers in early spring of 2020.