Source: California Invasive Plant Council

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Restoration Volunteers and Coordinators

Volunteers Get it Done!
Volunteers Get it Done!

What would weed work be without the volunteers? We all know programs that rely on all kinds of volunteers, from groups of 100 fourth-graders to groups of three retirees. See a list below of resources that have helped others coordinate volunteer efforts.

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Volunteer recruitment, safety and management

  1. WEBSITE: Developing and Managing Volunteer Programs: this free management library provides a comprehensive list of management tips and resources, including screening, selection, and management.
  2. PDF: Managing Volunteers: Balancing Risks and Rewards. An insurance-industry pamphlet that addresses risk management with volunteers.
  3. Reach out to thistles
    Reaching out to thistles. Photo courtesy D. Garcia
  4. BOOK/PDF: The Weed Workers' Handbook. Check out the following chapters:
    • Chapter 2: Strategy: Planning for Effectiveness
    • Chapter 2: Communication: Talking about Wildland Weeds
    • Chapter 4: Coordination: Organizing Volunteer Weed Projects
  5. PDF: Breaking up with Difficult Volunteers: an article from the Charity Channel.
  6. WEBSITE: TNC's Global Invasive Species Initiative volunteer coordination and outreach tools. Brochures, videos, and how-to.
  7. Organizations: finding volunteers. Try these organizations to bulk out your program:
    • AmeriCorps: Application/Grant-based volunteer support
    • Points of Light Foundation: provides a list of service centers in California offering volunteer support
    • Break Away: A list of alternative spring break groups
    • Sierra Club: Environmental organization that provides volunteers for multi-day service trips.

Resources: Teaching volunteers to identify plants

  1. BOOK: Weeds of California and Other Western States. This two-volume set contains detailed descriptions and hundreds of photographs of plants, including life stages from seed to adult.
  2. ID CARDS: Golden Gate National Recreation Area uses these Weed Cards with their volunteers. Click here to see a sample (pdf). GGNRA has eight cards with three species each. To obtain copies of the cards, please call Cal-IPC at 510.843.3902
  3. WEBSITE: Travel across the country to how volunteers learn to identify plants. View the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Rutgers University volunteer invasive plant survey guide.
  4. WEBSITE: Check out our other weed identification resources.


Resources: Teaching volunteers to remove plants

  1. BOOK: The Weed Worker's Handbook. Designed for volunteers, this small, field-ready book explains how to remove more than 35 of california's most invasive plants. Also available free for download on-line.
  2. WEBSITE: See a list of other resources on invasive plant removal.