Weed Warriors

Invasive species are a problem for everyone.

Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm. Unfortunately, invasive plant species are common and abundant in Idaho. These invaders threaten wildlife habitat, watershed health, agricultural commodities, recreational opportunities and increase the risk of wildfire to our communities.

How can I help?

Become a Certified Weed Warrior

The Weed Warrior Volunteer Program was created in 2016 to empower community members to help City of Boise staff manage non-native, invasive plants (NNIs) on open space reserves, City Parks, and neighborhoods. Volunteers are taught to properly identify and manage specific species of NNIs using appropriate integrated pest management techniques.

Right now, we don’t have any Certified Weed Warrior Volunteer trainings scheduled. If you would like to be notified when Weed Warrior trainings commence, please email Martha Brabec. Until then, please join us at a public Group Weed Warrior Workday*.

Join a Weed Warrior Workday

Want to help without becoming a Weed Warrior? We offer Group Weed Warrior Workdays throughout the spring/summer/fall on City of Boise open space reserves — no advanced training required. These NNI management events are one to two-hours, led by Parks staff, and a great way to start learning how to identify and remove NNIs in the Boise area.

Interested in joining a Group Weed Warrior Workday? Please visit this webpage to see our upcoming events*.

*Currently no events are scheduled due to COVID-19. Please continue to check back for more future opportunities.

Goathead plant with both flower and seeds attached

Goathead Removal

Most Idahoans have had a personal experience with goatheads or puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris), either in a beloved pet’s foot or a deflated bicycle tire. The City of Boise is teaming up Boise Goathead Festival to eradicate the evil goathead from the streets of Boise. You can help by learning how to properly identify and remove goatheads wherever they are found.

In this video, Boise Parks and Recreation Ecologist Martha Brabec shows you how to properly remove and dispose of a goathead.

Goathead seedling hand-pulled shortly after germination in mid-May

How to properly remove goatheads:

SUPPLIES

  • Gloves
  • Heavy duty trash bag
  • Weeding implement such as a trowel, hori hori knife, dandelion digger, etc.

STEPS

  • Learn to properly identify the plant.
  • It is best to pull goatheads before any flowers have formed – starting in mid-May. See a photo to the right of newly germinated goathead plant.
  • Pull from the center and remove the entire plan and its taproot.
  • Carefully put the entire plant into a garbage bag if seeds have formed.
  • Check the ground for loose goatheads. Sweeping or patting the ground with your hands is a good way to pick up any rogue goatheads.
  • Seal/tie the bag and ensure that goatheads will not fall out during transportation.
  • Check your shoes and bike tires to make sure you're not spreading goatheads to a new location
  • Do not throw goathead plants into your compost bin.

If you come across a large population of goatheads, please report the location to Ada County Weed Control.

Want to learn more about invasive species?

In the Resources section of the site, there is general information about invasive species common to the Boise area and an overview of how to manage invasive plants. It is our hope that this website will help you join the growing team of "Weed Warriors" in Boise, Idaho.

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