Help Us Improve Habitats

Who We Are

Plant Patrol is an all-volunteer group in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. We are looking for people who would like to get involved and help combat invasive weeds in our county. We have plans to work on invasives at different locations in Indiana including our county parks, Yellow Creek State Park and other local sites. No experience is needed. Work will involve pulling weeds and small bushes in most cases. Time will vary from one or two hours to a half day for any one event. We can supply the equipment needed. If you are interested in helping, sign up to become a volunteer.

Why Invasive Plants Are Harmful

Invasive plants are species that are growing outside their native range and that cause or are likely to cause environmental or economic harm, or harm to human health. Many invasive plant species disrupt the food web. Most herbivores are adapted to eat only native plants. For example, 90% of caterpillar species specialize on eating only a select number of native plant species. Monarch caterpillars eating milkweed is the most popularly-known example. So when invasive plants displace native ones, herbivore populations decline and so do the populations of animals that feed on herbivores. Among North American terrestrial bird species, 96% feed insects and other invertebrates to their young. These specializations are a contributing factor to the continental decline in insect populations and bird populations.

Progress to Date

Plant Patrol had 54 volunteers spend 271.5 person-hours treating 9 invasive species during 10 work events at 4 locations in Indiana County. Those locations are Blue Spruce Park, IUP South Woods, Tanoma AMD Wetlands Educational Site and Yellow Creek State Park. The following table shows the total quantity of each invasive species treated.

Common NameScientific NameTotal Treated
Autumn OliveElaeagnus umbellata110 shrubs
Barberry BushBerberis vulgaris1,215 shrubs
Burning BushEuonymus alatus2 shrubs
Honeysuckle shrubLonicera spp.483 shrubs
Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica800 sq yards
Japanese StiltgrassMicrostegium vimineum2 bushels
Mile-a-Minute VinePersicaria perfoliata20 bushels
Multiflora RoseRosa multiflora578 shrubs
ThistleCirsium spp.10 bushels

Upcoming Events

Ghost Town Trail

  • Sun, June 11, 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Pine Ridge Park

  • Sat, June 17, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

YMCA of Indiana County

  • Wed, July 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm