Volunteer work against invasive alien species

‘Alien species’ refers to plants and animals that have spread to our environment from other countries due to human influence, either on purpose or by accident. They are considered ‘invasive’ if they have a negative impact on the local nature and native species. The harmful impacts include the plant taking over a habitat or species hybridising.

There are many invasive alien species growing in Helsinki’s green areas that threaten the biodiversity and native species of our urban nature. However, many areas are difficult to reach by machines, or working with machines is otherwise not possible there. This is why we need everyone’s help in removing invasive species.

If you want to do your part to protect nature, you can join the activities against invasive species organised by the City, or organise activities on your own. The activities should take place in areas where the City is responsible for maintenance, meaning public areas. The City will organise the waste transport and offer guidance and help for organising the activities. The activities are mainly for weeding out invasive plants.

If you are interested in organising your own activities, please contact puistokummit@hel.fi or tel. +358 40 719 0824.

You can find information about the activities organised by the City in the volunteering event calendar https://vapaaehtoistoiminta.hel.fi/en/events/. (The page is only available in Finnish.)

You can also find the activities on the Facebook page of Helsinki Park Pals. (The page is only available in Finnish.)

Nature conservation organisations also hold their own activities against invasive species, which you can find on their websites.
WWF Finland (The page is only available in Finnish.)
Helsingin luonnonsuojeluyhdistys nature conservation association (The page is only available in Finnish.)

 

Solo activities

Solo activities are a campaign started by the Finvasive LIFE project of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. The campaign encourages everyone to weed out invasive plant species on their own. Since the Finvasive LIFE project ended, the City of Helsinki has adopted the solo activity concept in its own activities. Helsinki will indicate places that are suitable for weeding out plants by placing crates there for waste disposal after weeding. The crates have a sign with information about the species to be weeded out. The sign also includes brief instructions for weeding.

The main plants being weeded out are lupin and Himalayan balsam. Himalayan balsam should be pulled up by the roots. Lupin blossoms should be cut off to prevent the plant from forming seeds. You can also pull up small lupins by the roots.

You can find more information about the invasive species and instructions for weeding at Vieraslajit.fi. 

Targets

Below is a list of the solo activity targets in Helsinki by species. You can see a map of the crate locations by clicking on the location’s name.

  • Himalayan balsam (The locations to be added later)

You can also suggest targets for the solo activities by contacting puistokummit@hel.fi.

 

 

Time:

To be announced

Location:

City green areas

Requirements:

No requirements, but the participants should have sufficient ability to move. You will receive instructions for the activities.

Organizer:

Urban Environment Division