Illinois Beach State Park boasts some of the highest quality remnant habitat in the Midwest, but it’s being threatened by invasive plant species. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

A kick-off event Sept. 16 is aimed at recruiting more volunteer stewards, whose work helps safeguard the nature preserve’s endangered and threatened species.

Volunteers at LaBagh Woods help remove invasive buckthorn. Chicagoans might be surprised to learn which other popular ornamental plants are invasive. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Think you would know an invasive species if you saw one?

Callery pear blossoms. (sharonshuping0 / Pixabay)

The candidates include well-known banes like garlic mustard and wild parsnip, but also a plant adored by landscapers and property owners: the Callery pear tree.

A silver carp captured in June 2017 below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam is pictured. (Courtesy Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

Officials say the invasive carp’s presence does not necessarily mean there is a reproducing population of the species in the area, which is located above electric dispersal barriers. The fish captured Thursday was more than 38 inches long and weighed about 22 pounds. 

(WTTW News)

Illinois is rebranding Asian carp as “copi” in a bid to get people to eat the invasive fish into submission. Fishermen are catching thousands of pounds a day and barely making a dent in the number of carp in waterways like the Illinois River, where it's estimated 20 million to 50 million could be harvested annually.

Invasive cheatgrass, shown in the foreground, is fueling wildfires in the western U.S. (National Park Service / Emily Hassel)

As problematic as invasive plants, pests and pathogens already are, climate change will only magnify the havoc they wreak on habitat, wildlife and even humans.

A bighead carp, a type of Asian carp, caught in the Illinois River. (Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is flush with billions of dollars following passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Some of those funds are being funneled toward critical projects in the Chicago region, the Corps announced Wednesday. 

Buckthorn's telltale sweet potato color, exposed. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It can be hard to tell one tree from another in winter, but there's a simple trick to identifying invasive buckthorn. 

(WTTW News)

At the end of June, Illinoisans will no longer hear the words “Asian carp.” After several years and hundreds upon hundreds of millions spent trying to keep them from the Great Lakes, how can that possibly be? We explain.

The biggest change between the 2010 tree census and 2020's was the loss of 6 million ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Between 2010 and 2020, Chicago’s canopy cover decreased from 19% to 16%, largely due to the loss of mature ash trees, according to the 2020 tree census spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum. 

In photo provided by the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, an Asian Giant Hornet wearing a tracking device is shown Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 near Blaine, Wash. (Karla Salp / Washington Dept. of Agriculture via AP)

Scientists in Washington state have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out Saturday to protect native honeybees, officials said.

A bighead carp, a type of Asian carp, caught in the Illinois River, the principal tributary of the Mississippi River. There are no North American fish large enough to eat Asian carp, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. (Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

Efforts to increase demand for Asian carp as a food are aimed at buying time for development of a long-term solution to the threat posed by the invasive fish.

Jeff Skrentny (WTTW News)

More than 200 species of birds have been identified at this small forest preserve, along with hundreds of other living things. We meet up with Jeff Skrentny and several dozen volunteers for a morning of pre-pandemic restoration work.

In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. (Quinlyn Baine / Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

The world’s largest hornet, a 2-inch killer dubbed the “Murder Hornet” with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state, where entomologists were making plans to wipe it out.

The spotted lanternfly threatens grape, apple, pear, cherry and hop plants and trees, among others. (Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr)

The spotted lanternfly, oak wilt, gypsy moth and boxwood blight are among the latest threats in the plant world. And citizen scientists have a role to play when it comes to stopping the next plague.

Neighbors in Ravenswood Manor are raising funds to save the area’s parkway ash trees. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The city has given up on its ash trees, but some Chicagoans refuse to let theirs die.