The Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Invasive Species Control team works to protect the health of local wildland habitats by stopping the spread of harmful plants, animals and insects that threaten these ecosystems. With the support and collaboration of staff, volunteers and regional partners, the team engages in a variety of activities to prevent non-native plants and wildlife from degrading the local landscape, allowing for a full flourishing of biodiversity. One such volunteer spearheading the cause is Irvine resident, Ken Kadlec.
Three of the main invasive species that the team targets and removes are tree tabaco (Nicotiana glauca), artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) and castor bean (Ricinus communis), as well as a variety of other invasive species. Volunteers focus on different plants depending on the time of year and try to remove the invasive species before their seeds have a chance to spread.
Although invasive species control is hard work, Ken appreciates being able to make a tangible difference on the land he’s loved for so long. For Ken, his specific job as a volunteer is the perfect combination of three things, “It’s good exercise, you’re in a beautiful setting, and you’re doing some good [for the land]. It’s a win, win, win!”
If you are interested in learning more about IRC volunteers and how to become one, you can find additional information here. If you are interested in learning about other single-day volunteer and stewardship opportunities, check out the activity listings on LetsGoOutside.org.