USDA Hosts Kids’ Day Event for Washington, DC-Area Families to Kick-Off National Invasive Species Awareness Week
From a very humble start, National Invasive Species Awareness Week’s Kids’ Day has bloomed into an event featuring an invasive species magician, a 13-year old ‘invasive species hunter’ from Texas, and even Woodsy Owl from the Forest Service.
The event, sponsored by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, will take place on February 26 at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.—a perfect setting to educate kids about the importance of protecting our forests, agriculture and the environment from harmful invasive species.
I am excited for this year’s lineup of activities and special guests! For months, my staff and I have been recruiting presenters and participants from Federal and state agencies, area master naturalists, master gardeners, 4H clubs, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and local schools. Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to take invasive species drawing lessons, look at specimens through microscopes, play invasive species games, and meet APHIS’ very own Sheriff Al, the feared combatant of noxious weeds.
Although Kids’ Day will take place on a Sunday afternoon, I have had no trouble finding experts to come to the Botanic Garden and share their knowledge with the public, even on their day off. It’s obvious that these volunteers are truly dedicated to their important work.
Families that attend Kids’ Day also have the opportunity to wander throughout the Botanic Garden, looking at the towering trees, rare orchids, and spiky cacti. I know that they’ll come away with an experience that parents and children alike will never forget!
To learn more about National Invasive Species Awareness Week, go to www.nisaw.org, or come visit us at Kids’ Day at the U.S. Botanic Garden’s West Gallery on February 26, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. We hope to see you there.