KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Invasive species find their way into the Adirondack Park, reliably, every year. Plants like Eurasian watermilfoil travel on the hulls of boats. Insects like the hemlock woolly adelgid lay their eggs in wood that then gets transported as firewood. Next week, a series of events aims to highlight the importance of controlling that spread, and limiting the harm that species can cause across 6 million acres.

Next week, June 5-11, is Invasive Species Awareness Week. It’s a national event that seeks to educate people on the harm that invasive plants and insects can cause to native ecologies, and on how they can help. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) hosts an annual slate of events, which this year includes a three-part webinar series about prevention and identification.

APIPP’s Invasive Species Awareness Week schedule includes:

  • Invasive Species Awareness kickoff campfire
    • Monday, June 6
    • 6:30 – 8 p.m.
    • Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, 8 Church St., Saranac Lake
    • APIPP, Paul Smiths’ Adirondack Watershed Institute and Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters host a kickoff event with interactive activities for families, a presentation, and a clean-drain-dry demonstration on boats. Campfire, snacks and s’mores included. No registration required.
  • “Invasive Species for Lake Lovers” webinar
    • Wednesday, June 8
    • 1-2 p.m.
    • Webinar on invasive species’ impact on water quality in lakes and ecology, led by APIPP coordinator Brian Greene. Topics include many forms of impact that invasive species can have, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent species spread and help scientists. Registration is required online.
  • Family afternoon at Lake Flower Boat Launch
    • Wednesday, June 8
    • 2-5 p.m.
    • Lake Flower Boat Launch, 106-112 River St., Saranac Lake
    • Family event at Lake Flower, including games, hands-on aquatic invasive plant identification, and education on what steps can be taken to prevent spread. Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and drinking water are recommended. Public restrooms are on site, and parking is available across the street at the former Nonna Fina restaurant. Advance registration is encouraged.
  • “Uninvited” documentary screening
    • Wednesday, June 8
    • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    • Hotel Saranac, 100 Main St., Saranac Lake
    • Screening of the documentary “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species.” The documentary goes further into what can happen when invasive species are left unchecked. AWI staff and partners will be available for discussion following the film. Food and beverage purchases will be available at the hotel bar.

Additionally, APIPP has created a trilogy of short, 10-minute webinars for use in teaching how to identify species. In a report earlier this year, APIPP reported over 450 new infestations across the Adirondacks in 2021.