.Subcommittee - Invasives



Cumberland's Invasives Subcommittee of the Lands and Conservation Commission (LCC) was established in November 2023, “…to promote the management of invasive plants in Town, engage with local stakeholders and develop and implement a coordinated plan to mitigate the impact of invasives on our natural resources...”. In addition, the Subcommittee will, “…develop an education component so that interested parties can learn how to better manage invasives on private properties...”.

We are recruiting! Members will learn to identify and map invasive plants, develop plans and strategies for their control, and help implement control efforts. If interested, please complete the application linked here and return to Brenda Moore at bmoore@cumberlandmaine.com.  If you have questions about the work involved contact David Cowan at dcowan01@maine.rr.com.

According to the Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP), an invasive plant is, “… a plant that is not native to a particular ecosystem, whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health…”. Here in Cumberland invasive plants cause harm by displacing and suppressing the regeneration of native plants. This matters because unlike native plants, introduced species lack the myriad relationships with native insects, fungi, birds and other wildlife that have taken millennia of coexistence to evolve. When introduced non-native species are invasive, they can rapidly overrun large areas, resulting in impoverished ecosystems that are less diverse and less resilient.

For more information and resources see our Invasive Species Information page. For a deeper dive into the “Why” of managing invasive plants, see this presentation by Doug Tallamy.

Some of our ongoing, planned and aspirational efforts include:

  • Developing a Town-wide strategic plan for managing invasives;
  • Mapping and monitoring invasive species using the iMap Invasives app;
  • Preparing and implementing management plans for Town-owned lands, including contracting professional services where needed;
  • Seeking grants and other funding in support of Subcommittee objectives;
  • Organizing the immensely gratifying and ever-popular volunteer work days;
  • Hosting presentations and training workshops for volunteers and landowners;
  • Developing and disseminating outreach materials via print, on-line and social media;
  • Hosting informational tables at local events such as the Cumberland Fair and the weekly Farmer’s Market;
  • Collaborating with other organizations that are actively managing invasives within the Town, including the LCC Forestry and Trails Subcommittees, the Department of Public Works, and the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust, as well as state-wide and regional organizations;
  • Working with entities managing public and private rights-of-way within the Town such as Maine DOT, Central Maine Power and Canadian National Railroad;
  • Coordinating and leveraging resources with our neighboring Towns of Yarmouth, Falmouth, North Yarmouth, Gray and Windham.