Field scabious (Knautia arvensis) is a perennial plant that competes with forage and pasture land, and is also found along roadsides at mid-elevations of the province. Once established, it is very difficult to eradicate.Learn more
Help Protect British Columbia
Are you eager to get outdoors, get active, and get learning? Interested in having a real-world impact on your local community? Our youth volunteers help to protect BC from new and spreading invasive species, by gaining expert knowledge of our local environment and ecosystem, and by taking meaningful action in the field.
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Great volunteer projects
We welcome youth from all across the province to engage with this program. Whether you join us in person or online, you will quickly become an essential contributor to our volunteer program by developing resources, growing your knowledge and gaining new skills, exploring your region and preventing the spread of invasives!
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A VOLUNTEER
Our goal is to support healthy habitats and communities, keeping them free of invasive species.
With the support of an ISCBC Facilitator, like-minded youth and young adults form teams. Those teams plan and carry out real-world activities — on land, in parks and school yards, and in lakes and rivers. You’ll have the chance to get your hands dirty with fieldwork, engage in skill-building workshops, and gain community service experience by protecting healthy landscapes, habitats and communities free from invasive species.
In addition to fun and memorable adventures, volunteers gain
- Practical, hands-on work experience
- Training in habitat restoration, invasive plant management, leadership, public engagement and more
- Volunteer/service hours
- Professional references
- Rewards (i.e. branded hats, T-shirts, jackets/hoodies, gloves, educational resources such as books, etc.)
- A safe and inclusive space to feel welcome, supported, and valued
- The good feeling that comes from protecting BC’s natural habitats for future generations to use and enjoy
50 community sites enhanced, 149 events hosted, 376 bags of weeds pulled, 433 volunteers making a difference, 14445 hours volunteered, 1 stuffed Minions™ toy rescued, 3 abandoned shopping carts returned
Your Volunteer Journey
Meet one-on-one with your ISCBC Facilitator and discover how your goals, passions and interests can be matched with our diverse range of community service opportunities.
Meet Your Team!
Connect with your fellow ISCBC volunteers either in-person at local volunteer events or virtually at our ongoing volunteer meetings.
With support and guidance from your Facilitator, start making a difference by engaging in real-world projects and activities that are meaningful to you, your community and the environment. If you need help getting started, checkout our “50 Ways to Volunteer”.
In addition to gaining hands on, practical experience through project work, don’t forget to take part in our free webinars, courses and workshops to receive training in habitat restoration, invasive plant management, leadership and more!
Be sure to submit all hours spent volunteering with ISCBC to be eligible for our Milestone Rewards! Capture memorable photos, write blog posts, or find other creative ways to celebrate the work that you’re doing to protect BC’s natural landscapes for future generations to come.
50 Ways to Volunteer
Ready to make a difference in your local environment and community? Here are some ideas to get you started. Our program makes it easy for anyone to take action against invasive species, whether you’re ready to start your own community service project, or excited to develop new, creative resources, or just keen to get outside and make a difference! This growing list led by youth facilitators and volunteers, has something for everyone. Have a new idea? Let us know.
Complete the onboarding package
Learn about the invasive species council, watch a webinar, join the Facebook group, etc.
Create a self-development plan
Identify your values, use those values to create goals, build timelines to describe how you will achieve those goals and use our volunteer program to help you complete your timeline. Having trouble starting? Connect with your facilitator for a self-development plan template and tips for your first draft.
2 Hours / Webinar
Watch a webinar
Visit ISCBC’s event page for upcoming webinars or watch recorded webinars in ISCBC’s webinar gallery.
Identify neighbourhood plants
Grab a plant ID book or download an app and start learning the basics of identifying plants! This includes names of plant features and seasonality. Record plant observations in your neighbourhood.
Participate in a bioblitz
A bioblitz is a communal citizen science effort meant to record as many species within a designated location and time period as possible. Ask your facilitator how to get started or checkout this online Bioblitz Guide for more info!
Connect with your local community
Research local communities and organizations who are taking action against invasive species. Learn about what’s already being done near you, and think about how you can learn from and build on the work that is happening! Hint: your local municipality website is a great place to start.
Neighbourhood nature inventory
Start exploring your nearby greenspaces – a park, stream or even your backyard! Identify the surrounding plants, animals, and insects in your neighbourhood, measure their abundance. Keep record of the various species and continue to monitor to find out how the biodiversity or ecosystem around you is everchanging.
Learn about the Species at Risk Act
How does the Species at Risk Act work? Explore the list of species that are included in the act in British Columbia. If you’re looking to work in the environmental sector, this is something that often arises in interviews and screening processes. Check out the Species at Risk Act.
Check out the ISCBC volunteer reading list
Calling all bookworms! Did you know that the ISCBC has a book club? Send your facilitator some of you top environmental book recommendations and find out how you can get involved in growing and sharing your knowledge with other volunteers!
Invasive species wreak havoc not just in BC but worldwide! Look up an invasive species in another country and share the info on social media or with the ISCBC volunteer Facebook group.
Did you know species native to BC may be invasive in another region? Find one and share on social media or with the ISCBC volunteer Facebook group!
Host a discussion group
Pick a topic of interest and do some background research. Identify current issues (example: the impacts of herbicides on bees) and invite people to debate or discuss this idea. Capture the discussion as best you can and send the summary to your facilitator for next steps!
Connect with a professional
Identify a topic that you want to learn more about and reach out to a facilitator for next steps. This is your chance to get connected with an expert in the field, learn more about the field you are interested in and how it can apply to your community service.
Read about our Plantwise program and discover how you can prevent the spread of invasive species in your own backyard. Share your newfound knowledge with friends and family so that they too can become Plantwise and help reduce the spread!
Local park stewardship
Start by identifying a local park that needs attention. Reach out to your facilitator for guidance on planning:
- how to perform a nature inventory
- creating a proposal for your parks board
- how to work in the park effectively and safely
- how to recruit more volunteers to help you
- how to document and share the work you’ve completed.
Apply for a microgrant
Talk to your facilitator about how you can use your stewardship project to apply for a government microgrant!
Neighbourhood garbage pickup
Start by identifying a local space that needs attention. Reach out to your facilitator for guidance on planning:
- how to adhere to the rules of your municipality
- how to get safety equipment including gloves, trash bags, etc.
- how to recruit more volunteers to help you
- how to document and share the work you’ve completed.
Other project ideas?
Connect with us!
We are excited to hear what kinds of community service projects you are interested in pursuing and how we can help get you started today. Connect with your facilitator to learn more.
Create an invasive species info sheet
Design a document that helps people identify an invasive species and provides recommendations for what to do if you encounter the species. Use online programs like Photoshop and Canva, or take a stab at freehand!
Build a plant press
Create your own plant press! By preserving plants, we can help conserve plant biodiversity and expand our plant identification knowledge. To get started, checkout our “Plants Under Pressure” how-to video to get started!
Grab a paper and pen and start writing out a personal reflection. Focus on any past experiences you’ve had with habitat conservation, what motivated you and the impact that you were able to make. If you’re comfortable, share with your facilitator! Reflections help you understand yourself better and prepare yourself for future action.
Design a colouring sheet
Design an invasive or Indigenous species colouring sheet for children to enjoy. Need some inspiration? Checkout our current gallery of colouring sheets and other educational resources to get your creative juices flowing.
Design an invasive-free garden for your local area
Enjoy gardening? Research your local growing conditions, read up on our Plantwise program and start designing your very own invasive free garden!
Make an invasive species poster
Design an engaging poster that educates people about an invasive species issues in your area.
Describe the location of different features in your neighbourhood. This can be artistic or scientific. A nature inventory can help you make a more accurate map and you can share this with your volunteer team to help others identify their neighbourhood ecological features.
Did you know you can eat your weeds? Share an invasives recipe with the volunteer team, friends and family. Check out Eat the Invaders for ideas!
Create a scavenger hunt
Plan a route through your neighbourhood that includes native and invasive plants. Create clues to help people locate the plants. Hide small indicators (like a painted stone) at each stop. Promote the scavenger hunt to your neighbours or the community.
Write an invasive species song
Use musical expression to communicate your knowledge of invasive species.
Write a nature poem
Flex your creativity and express yourself.
Write a “Volunteer Spotlight”
Do you know of a fellow volunteer who has been going above and beyond to make a difference in their community? Write a paragraph describing who this volunteer is, how they have gone the extra mile and why they should be recognized – and don’t forget to include some of their recent activities for context. Send this to your facilitator when you’re done!
Make a herbarium
Pick, identify and press a number of plants (invasive and natural) in your area to keep as an identification tool.
Create a live video
Ask your facilitator if you can film a Facebook Live event for our social media, or provide some ideas for a live video that focuses on invasive species education.
Share invasive species info on social media
Write a post that inspires action about an invasive species in your area. Share with the ISCBC volunteer Facebook group or on your own social media (but don’t forget to tag us!).
Become a blog post contributor
Write about a project, an outreach event or impacts of an invasive species and we’ll post it on ISCBC’s Volunteer Voice!
Start your own blog
Start your own blog, posting about topics that are important to you. Reach out to your facilitators for tips on how to get started.
Join our Newsletter Committee
Interested in building your communications and project management skills? Join our Newsletter Committee and help us distribute important information and opportunities to our volunteers across the province.
Join our Social Media Committee
Are you a whiz with smartphone technology? Have a knack for writing sharp, witty captions? Contact your facilitator to join our Social Media Committee and start sharing your digital media knowledge.
Grab your brushes and started painting. Checkout our past webinars on “The Art of Painting Botanicals” to get started!
Start a podcast
Love to talk? Start your own podcast on invasives or other conservation topics that are important to you. This is a great way to share your knowledge and get creative while doing it.
Help protect your environment by getting crafty with zero waste, environmentally friendly projects such as beeswax wraps and fabric bags! Ask your facilitator for more info and how to get started.
Write a story
Put your writing skills to the test and start writing your own narrative surrounding the theme of environmental conservation.
Plant propagation for planting
Read this article to learn how to grow your own plants from clippings!
Report invasive species
Download the Report Invasives app and go looking for invasive species to report in your neighbourhood.
Become a community scientist
Download a community science app and use it to make observations.
Start a vermicomposter
Make a worm bucket. Adopt some pet worms and feed them food scraps to reduce your carbon footprint and receive rich organic compost for your garden.
Plan an interpretive walk
Select a local area of interest. Identify natural features you’d like to highlight. Work with a youth facilitator and plan a nature walk for your fellow volunteers!
Invasive weed pull
Spend the day identifying and removing invasive species at a local park or recreation site.
Identify a local area near you that needs some love. Grab some trash bags, gloves, a mask and get cleaning!
Volunteer News & Events
Volunteer VoiceVolunteer Spotlight: Joey Egeland
Published: June 24, 2021 Joey Egeland is 21 year-old student and has been volunteering with the Kamloops youth team since July 2019. Joey is passionate about preventing the spread of…
Volunteer VoiceVolunteer Spotlight: Kathryn Lande
Kathryn Lande was working towards a MSc at the University of British Columbia when she began volunteering with ISCBC in the summer of 2020. Read about her work on a Vancouver Green Streets Stewardship project!
Volunteer VoiceVolunteer Spotlight: Garry Oak Meadow Restoration
John joined ISCBC’s volunteer program in the summer of 2020, however, his dedication towards protecting habitats began years before. Read what John has to say about recent efforts in Garry oak meadows.
Youth Summit 2021
ISCBC’s Youth Summit 2020 was held on May 1 and 2, 2020. This amazing event is now packaged into an online series!