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Gainesville Hosts 3rd Annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”

coral ardisia

This Saturday, January 28, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, the City of Gainesville will host the 3rd annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”. The rally is a 1-day volunteer-powered event to remove trash and non-native invasive plant life from around Gainesville’s city parks. The first portion of the event will be the clean-up effort and will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 am in pre-selected natural areas around Gainesville. The second portion of the event will be the celebration and will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Morningside Nature Center. The celebration will feature live music from local band “Wax Wings” as well as prizes from local businesses to honor the top volunteers of 2016. All volunteers in this event must be registered. Registration ended January 27 with a whopping 913 participants registered! As a thank you, all participants will receive a commemorative Raider Rally t-shirt designed by local artist Molly Kempson and will feel gratified in knowing that local plant life now has a better chance to prosper.

The “Great Invader Raider Rally” is part of the “Gainesville Greenway Challenge” (GGC), a community/volunteer based invasive species removal effort, with participants meeting the first Saturday of every month. GGC funding is provided by a grant from Environmental Solutions for Communities, which is a $15 million 5-year initiative launched in 2012 by Wells Fargo Bank and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“We are excited to have 913 volunteers to help remove extensive amounts of Coral ardisia tomorrow morning! With this many volunteers we can really put a dent in the invasive species population, which will allow our native ecosystems to thrive once again!”

-Kentucky Costellow

Recreation Leader

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department

City of Gainesville

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