Work in Hillside Woods

Residents of all ages are pulling invasive plants, collecting data, and replanting trees. Join us!

Join our email list or Sign up for an upcoming work session

No experience necessary - we train! Got other talents to contribute? Let us know!

For volunteer work opportunities in our Village that are not in Hillside Woods, see: Restoration Hastings

Volunteers digging up a privet bush in The Meadow

Bring a shovel and work gloves (or borrow from us) and work to remove rampant disruptive trees and shrubs as well as replant with ecologically beneficial species and water baby seedlings. Sessions are generally two hours on Sunday afternoons, good exercise—and fun! Students can earn community service hours.

Barberry has colonized the entire understory in this Lewisboro preserve

Invasive Shrubs

There are several kinds in Hillside Woods (read more here). Barberry is especially problematic; elsewhere it has colonized entire understories. Volunteers have surveyed and recorded this invasive shrub in 850 locations in Hillside Woods; we have removed about a quarter of this as of summer 2021. Join a squad to remove it or contact us for an assignment you can do on your own time. Got Japanese barberry in your yard? Consider removing it, as birds eat its berries and drop its seeds wherever they go.

A volunteer planting some stiff-leaf goldenrod

Planting Trees and Flowers

To date we've planted over 450 donated tree and shrub seedlings plus a handful of wildflowers. Plantings will begin in earnest once fencing is erected. You're invited to help!

See our progress page for details on where trees have been planted and what kind, or view our data tables in EpiCollect5.

Members of the 6th Grade Service Club lopping vines in the Lower Burke Estate, 2020

Working with Hastings Students

We've engaged students from 2nd grade through college on our projects. Students have participated in invasive plant removals, tree plantings, species surveys and communications.

In May 2021, students from Hastings High School and Hillside Elementary School planted 130 trees, and high school PE classes watered them three times a week.

The Hastings Vine Squad removes invasive vines from public trees throughout Hastings, including in Hillside Woods, from November to March. Visit the Hastings Conservation Commission's Vine Squad page for more info and schedule. The Vine Squad supplies equipment and training.

For more information on any of these projects, email Visit our Volunteer Resources Page for more. You can sign up for a session at any time. No experience necessary: we train!

We also invite community members with writing expertise, an inclination to photograph or a penchant for social media to help us with communications. Students can design internships and conduct research. Community service hour credits available for all activities.