The Invasive Species Centre aims to help move invasive species knowledge and action outside of expert circles by arming volunteers with awareness, knowledge and tools to undertake on-the-ground projects in the community. We engage in community action through our Early Detection and Rapid Response Network of Ontario. Together, we will increase the awareness of invasive species and support community action and citizen science to detect and reduce their impacts.
What is Our Goal?
Established in 2015, the Early Detection & Rapid Response (EDRR) Network Ontario is a community action project coordinated by the Invasive Species Centre. This project aims to train and equip volunteers with the skills and resources needed to better detect and reduce invasive species in Ontario, one community at a time.
What Do We Do?
The EDRR Network facilitates community action by utilizing several different tools including citizen science and stewardship initiatives.
- Hold training workshops on existing and emerging invasive species
- Hold removal events and assist in facilitation of partner events
- Facilitate youth training and classroom presentations
- Assist communities to participate in citizen science and report distribution of invasive species
- Work with partners to facilitate invasive species outreach initiatives
- Develop plant management guides for landowners
- Create digital outreach and social media content on invasive species
- Fill gaps in resources and information to citizens and community groups
Where Do We Work?
This project is in phase 3 of funding with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and is primarily focused in the Kingston, Quinte and Rideau catchment of Eastern Ontario. However, anyone in Ontario can participate in community action events through the Invasive Species Centre!
How Can You Get Involved?
There are lots of ways to get involved with the Early Detection and Rapid Response network! Including:
- Sign up to receive notifications on events in your area
- Take part in a webinar
- Become a citizen scientist! Learn how to report an invasive species in your area using EDDMapS
- Set up an invasive species booth at a local event, we’ll send the materials. Contact us!
- Host an invasive species stewardship event in your area with help from EDRR
The Invasive Species Centre utilizes citizen science through our EDRR Network to help map and manage invasive species in Canada. Our goal is to give citizens the tools to effectively help contribute vital information on the distribution of invasive species across Canada.
Citizen Science Tools
The EDRR Network is made up of volunteers and citizen scientists drawn from community groups, naturalist and conservation clubs, riverkeepers groups, recreational fishing clubs, cottage and lakes associations, gardening clubs, youth groups and students.
At every EDRR Outreach event there is one consistent call to action: report invasive species. Why report? Because the earlier a species is detected, the more likely it is that management is possible, and the lower the cost to manage.
At the Invasive Species Centre we utlize a mapping app called EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System). This is a real-time app that allows citizens across North America to report invasive species in their communities.
Click here to learn more about EDDMapS and become a citizen scientist today!
Tool Kit Sharing
To get started on your next invasive species stewardship project, take advantage of our free Tool Kit Sharing Program! Kits are currently available for check out in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, and are equipped with saws, tarps, gloves, extractigators, spades, etc.