2021 4-H Wildside Spring Invasive Species Challenge
Are you ready for the best 4-H Wildside challenge yet? The 2021 4-H Wildside Spring Invasive Species Challenge will expand your understanding of the environment around you and get you more in touch with your Wildside.
Invasive species are exotic plant and animal life that is not native to the natural habitat. These species can out-compete and threaten the health of the other species native to the area and the entire habitat. New Hampshire boasts rich and diverse habitats, and this challenge will encourage you to explore them all and learn about them through the lens of what’s NOT supposed to be there.
This challenge will function like Pokémon Go or geocaching in the sense that you will discover a location where an invasive is, go there, and search around for it. And this challenge will operate like a scavenger hunt in the sense that you will have a list of invasive species to locate and document. Successfully discover and document six out of nine invasive species on the list and you will earn your exclusive Invasive Species Challenge patch. You will be provided with a Field Book for recording your species. Feel free to submit a species not listed here – just submit at least 6!
- Glossy buckthorn
- Oriental bittersweet
- Japanese Knotweed
- Multiflora rose
- Burning bush
- Autumn olive
- Japanese barberry
- Garlic mustard (There is an online training on how to identify and pull garlic mustad happening right before this Challenge begins. Going to a garlic mustard pull and documenting it in your Field Book will qualify. Email Rockingham.4H@unh.edu for early access to the Field Book if you are attending a garlic mustard pull before the challenge begins.)
The Invasive Species Challenge runs from April 22nd (Earth Day!) to July 31st. You can register to enter via 4HOnline 2.0 at any time. We are excited to launch on Earth Day and extend the challenge into the summer. You will be able to identify as many species as possible, many of which are more noticeable in the warmer months. Send your Field Book in to your County Extension office by the Challenge end date to qualify for a patch. Presenting on concepts drawn from the Invasive Species Challenge makes excellent content for County or State 4-H Presents! and will earn you 2 Clover Badges if you are participating in the Clover Challenge.
Some of you may know where one or maybe even a few of these invasive species are, but finding at least six may be oddly difficult. There are a couple web resources that can help. We will be having a virtual zoom tutorials for EDDmaps (April 22, 5-6pm) and iMaps (April 25, 5-6pm), both of which have different features that can guide you to each species. Email Rockingham.4H@unh.edu for the Zoom links to join these sessions.