Work to Restore

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

Join our email list

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

Join a Work Crew

Get involved! Learn about your ecosystem. Remove invasive shrubs and vines as well as replant with ecologically beneficial species. Sessions are two hours on a weekend, good exercise—and fun! Tools and instruction provided. Students earn community service hours.

Questions? Email us to ask us anything or to join our work session reminders email list.

Barberry colonizing the understory in a Lewisboro preserve

Invasive Shrubs

There are several kinds of invasive shrubs in Hillside Woods (read more here). Barberry is especially problematic; elsewhere it has colonized entire understories, and it increases deer tick populations. Volunteers have surveyed and recorded this invasive shrub in 850 locations in Hillside Woods; as of summer 2022, we have removed about half of these. 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: birds eat its berries and spread it everywhere.

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 in Hillside Woods. At the Burke, over 300 trees and shrubs have been installed, with 700 at Exit 12. Plantings will begin in earnest in Hillside Woods once fencing is erected. You're invited to help!

See our progress page for details on Hillside Woods plantings, or view our data tables in EpiCollect5, and see links above for other projects.

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 hillsidewoods@hastingsgov.org. 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.