The Invader Crusaiders

The Invader Crusaders Team volunteers in a stewardship role at the Springfield Botanical Garden under the direction of the park's staff gardener, Phylicia Poelma. A chapter member with a passion for invasive plant control and use of native plants in home gardening organizes the interns that have chosen this activity as a capstone project. Other chapter members also volunteer. The team is following an invasive species eradication plan to remove primarily bush and Japanese honeysuckle, winter creeper and multiflora rose from seven areas in the park. The group also volunteers to help with replacing the invasive plants with native plants as indicated and helps with weeding the native shrub and flower garden, This provides an opportunity to learn more about invasive plant management as well as characteristics of native plant species. The dramatic visual difference in those areas is very rewarding.  We think the birds, butterflies, and other insects will be rewarded too.



Our mission is to engage people in the stewardship of our state's natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service.


1. Improve public understanding of natural resources ecology and management by developing a pool of local knowledge about natural resources ecology that can be used to enhance education efforts within local communities.


2. Enhance existing natural resources education and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a team of dedicated and informed volunteers.


3. Develop a self-sufficient Missouri Master Naturalist volunteer network. 

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