King County is seeking volunteers to help protect lakes and hiking areas from invasive weeds

Summer is a wonderful time to relax on a lake or take a hike in the mountains. Now you can enjoy the outdoors and help protect nature at the same time by watching for and reporting invasive species. King County has training classes for both Lake Weed Watchers and Trail Weed Watchers in June. The classes are free and open to everyone and there’s no obligation to volunteer. The more eyes looking for invasive plants, the better chance we have of stopping them!

People learning how to look for aquatic weeds at Beaver Lake.
Volunteers learn how to search for invasive plants on lakes at a King County training on Beaver Lake.

The Lake Weed Watcher training is co-sponsored by the City of Maple Valley. It is on June 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lake Wilderness Lodge, 22500 SE 248th Street, Maple Valley WA 98038. Register for the Lake Weed Watcher class online or contact Ben Peterson for more information.

training class on aquatic weeds
Lake Weed Watcher training classes bring the plants up close so you can learn to identify invasive and native plants that grow in King County’s lakes.

The Trail Weed Watcher trainings are being offered through a partnership with the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council (PNW-IPC) Citizen Science EDRR Invasive Plant Program. There are three training classes in King County this year: June 9 in North Bend, June 15 in Auburn, and June 22 in Seattle. Details and registration information are on the PNW-IPC Events Page.

training class for volunteers to report invasive weeds on trails
PNW-IPC citizen science training classes teach hikers learn how to detect and report invasive plants on trails.

If you already know how to identify invasive plants, or don’t have time to take a class, you can still participate. Contact Sasha Shaw for information on which lakes need surveys or to be notified about trail weed watcher events in King County this summer.

volunteers removing English ivy in a forest
Volunteers working together in the forest can catch invasive weeds like English ivy before they take over.

You can also head out on your own and report what you find with handy mobile apps.

Thanks for helping us help nature!