Mission: Acadia National Park

Research Question

What invasive species are in and around Acadia National Park?

You're invited

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National Park Service, Acadia National Park

According to the National Park Service Acadia receives more than 2 million visitors each year and is one of the most visited national parks in the country.

The MDI Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA), an effort sponsored by Acadia National Park and Maine Coast Heritage Trust, invites landowners, residents and concerned citizens on Mount Dessert Island to help them map the presence of invasive plants in and around the Park.

Be a part of this important effort!

Mission steps

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Crew Investigates Glossy Buckthorn in Acadia

1. Contact Aleta McKeage at the National Park Service to find out where to look to help with this effort.

2. Look for these CISMA target species:

    Garlic mustard
    Morrow's honeysuckle
    Glossy buckthorn
    Japanese knotweed
    Japanese knotweed, WINTER ID
    Japanese barberry
    Purple Loosestrife
    Giant hogweed

3. Print a Species and Habitat Survey: Upland Habitats.

4. Go out and look for the invasive species.

  • CISMA also needs to know how many plants you find so be sure to collect this data and record in the section, "Other Species Observations."

5. Go to your My Vital Signs page (link at top right) to add your "found" or "not found" observations.

  • Make your site name "Mount Desert Island-[property name]".

Why this Mission matters

Invasive plants present a significant threat to the environmental health of Mount Desert Island (MDI). These destructive plants are being managed intensively in Acadia National Park, but without an effort to control these plants on lands near the park, we will never be able to successfully control or eradicate them.
Aleta McKeage, Exotic Plant Management Team Leader, Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is characterized by a variety of ecosystems and species. According to the National Park Service, Acadia is home to more than 1200 species of plants, including 25 state-listed rare plants, as well non-native and invasive species.

Invasive species can affect these beautiful and fragile plant and animal communities that attract millions of visitors to Acadia each year. By monitoring the presence and absence of these invasive species on the properties in and around Acadia, we can help the National Park Service to protect Acadia's mountains, lakes, streams, wetlands, forests, and meadows.

Want to know and do more?

Contact Aleta McKeage at the National Park Service
Aleta is coordinating the community's efforts, and would like to talk with you about where to look and what to look for. She can also inform you about upcoming plant identification trainings.

Acadia National Park Nature and Science
Learn about the plant and animal diversity in this beautiful national treasure!