What You Can Do to Make A Difference

Volunteering and reporting are both important steps to tackle established infestations of invasive plants on the ground, but equally so is preventing them from establishing in the first place.  Prevention is our first line of defense against the introduction and spread of invasive species.  It is also more cost effective than the control and containment efforts that come later.  Prevention steps can be practiced by all of us within the context of our every day life.  

Tips to prevent invasive plants where you live, work & play:

Learn the Common Invaders


DCIST has produced a list of common invasive plants in Door County to help you become familiar with those you're most likely to see.  Observing the plants on your property, even without identifying them, can help you notice when something new establishes.  Report invasive species occurances to DCIST.

Play, Clean, Go


Check that seeds are not stuck to your clothing, gear , or pets obefore entering or leaving a natural area.  Remove any seeds that are found and dispose of in the garbage.  If a boot brush is available on site be sure to use it, or consider carrying a small brush in your vehicle or day pack to clean your shoes.  You can learn more by visiting www.playcleango.org.

Go Beyond Beauty


Do not plant invasive species in your gardens or on your land.  Find native or non-invasive alternatives species suitable for your planting.  Ask local nurseries to stock and sell native plant species only.  Native plants are better adapted to our local area and can be more resilient to drought and other natural occurences.  

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers


Clean any boating, fishing, or recreational equipment immediately after removing it from a body of water.  State law requires you to inspect all equipment, remove any attached plants and animals, and drain all water from the equipment.  If possible, use a decontamination unit for cleaning if one is available at the dock or boat launch.  DO NOT DUMP live bait, aquariums, or pond plants into waterways.  

Watch Your Step


Drive only on designated roads and hike on designated trails.  Try to avoid driving, walking through, or camping in areas that are infested with invasive plants.

Don't Introduce a Pest


Seek out forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free”.  Use only  local or treated firewood to prevent the spread of pests like the Emerald Ash Borer.  Check out Firewood Scout for where you can purchase firewood locally.

Other ways you can contribute to our invasive species efforts:

Educate & Encourage - Learn to identify invasive plant species and pass it on!  Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve learned with those around you.  Consider partnering with neighbors to control invasive species where you live and encourage your neighborhood or homeowners association to become involved.  Remember, invasive plants do not adhere to political or man-made boundaries.  Your hard work could be lost if you are not connecting with those who own adjacent lands.  

Advocate - Ask your political representatives at the local, state, and national levels to stand behind invasive species legislation and funding initiatives that support invasive species education and control efforts. 

Volunteer - Give your time to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.  The Door County Invasive Species Team is continuously looking for those willing to share their time and talents with us!  A variety of opportunities can be found throughout the County whether it is inventorying invasive plants, conducting education outreach with boaters and other groups, or rolling up your sleeves to control invaders yourself.  For current and on-going opportunities, visit our Volunteer page or subscribe to our e-newsletter.  

Report - We need your help locating invasive species in Door County!  Report new or expanded invasive plant outbreaks on our Reporting page or send an email to dcist1@gmail.com.  If you can, take pictures of plants and include them.    

Support - Consider making a donation to the Door County Invasive Species Team or other conservation organizations working to make a difference in Door County.  You can download our donation form here.