Invasive Plant Management Trainings

Since 2008, URI Cooperative Extension has offered Invasive Plant Management Trainings in cooperation with the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and the RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM).

Become a Certified Invasive Manager!

The next training will be held on Friday, October 20, 2023 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the South Kingstown Land Trust barn. Deadline to register: October 12

Register Today!

The rapid establishment of invasive plant species in Rhode Island remains a threat to native ecological biodiversity. Freedom from natural predators, high seed production, and affinity for disturbed habitat sites all contribute to the success of invasive species, leaving native species to struggle for space and resources. The Invasive Plant Management Certification Program (IPMCP) trains green industry professionals working in the coastal zone to provide sustainable invasive plant management services to clients, and to facilitate restoration of degraded coastal habitats.

Are you concerned about the impact of invasive plants on our landscape? Do you want to learn how to manage invasive plants to aid in the restoration of biodiversity and degraded habitats?

Join instructors from the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), URI Cooperative Extension and the URI Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology.


This full-day educational workshop is open to anyone interested in learning about invasive plant ecology, management methodologies, control strategies and restorative planting. Participants will have the opportunity to go on a plant identification walk following the classroom session. Registration Fee: $175.00 (includes coffee/tea, lunch and training materials).


This full-day educational workshop is open to those seeking certification recognized by the RI Coastal Resources Management Council for coastal buffer zone management permits for invasive plant management. Topics covered include; invasive plant ecology, management methodologies, control strategies and restorative planting, rules and regulations related to invasive plant management in sensitive areas and associated permitting processes. Registration Fee: $250.00 (includes coffee/tea, lunch, training materials and 3-year certification pending completion of program).

Certified Invasive Managers


Last updated September 2023

Recertification Training

The next training for Certified invasive Managers seeking recertification through 2026 will be held on Friday, October 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in South Kingstown. Please email to secure your spot! Space is limited.

Register Here

Attendance at one session is required to maintain recertification. Certified Invasive Managers are granted certification for three years, effective July 1, 2016. Please see the list of Certified Invasive Managers linked above to determine your certification status.

QUESTIONS? Please contact 

Program Administrator, Extension Educator

Cooperative Extension


Invasive Plant Management Resources & FAQs

Management Factsheets

RI Natural History Survey – Rhode Island Invasive Plant Species | Last updated October 2013

Present and Widespread

Localized Distribution/ Early Detection

Additional Info

Safety and Environmental Precautions

Herbicide Labels – database of agro-chemical information and decision support tools for the agricultural, turf & ornamental and food industries.

General Herbicide Recommendations

Invasive Plant Species References: Local, Regional, National and Global Resources

Invasive Plant FAQ

What is an invasive plant species?

  • Native Plant – a species that reached its location without assistance from humans.
  • Exotic species – a non-native plant or animal introduced into a new location by human activity, either intentionally or by accident.
  • Invasive species – a non-native (adventitious) species that is capable of moving aggressively into a habitat and monopolizing resources such as light, nutrients, water, and space to the detriment of other species

How do invasive species spread?

  • Horticultural activity is responsible for about 60% of invasive species introductions (arboretums, gardeners).
  • Conservation activities (Soil Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture) introduced about 30% of invasive plants, mostly for screening, windbreak, and erosion control, but also to supply food and cover for wildlife.
  • Accidental introductions make up the remaining 10%. For example, purple loosestrife was first brought to the U.S. in the hold of a ship via ballast water, then later introduced for horticultural purposes.
  • Some species may be native to certain regions of North America where they are not invasive, but arrive in new regions through assisted range expansion or transportation to other parts of the country for ornamental purposes where they can become invasive.

Why are we concerned?

  • According to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens “Biota of North America” study, at least 4,000 species of non-native plants occur outside cultivation in the United States. Most of these escaped species cause few problems, but 79 species cost the U.S.economy more than 97 billion dollars annually in lost crops, failed recovery efforts for endangered species, and control efforts.
  • Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and for 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species, invasives are the main cause of their decline.
  • Invasive species compete directly with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and space. Additionally, some studies suggest that the fruit produced by invasives may not be as nutritious for local wildlife, requiring them to eat more frequently. Fruits and seeds of invasive species are the “junk food” of the natural world.

Why are invasive species so successful?

  • Most species have predators in their natural range that keep their population numbers in check. When new species are introduced, however, they come without their natural predators.
  • Most invasive species produce copious amounts of seed. This seed is often bird- or wind-dispersed, allowing it to cover great distances in a short period of time.
  • Some invasives have aggressive root systems that can spread long distances from a single plant. These root systems often grow so densely that they smother the root systems of surrounding vegetation.
  • Some species produce chemicals in their leaves or root systems which inhibit the growth of other plants around them.
  • Most invasives cast extremely dense shade beneath which native vegetation can not survive.
  • Most invasives thrive on disturbed soil, such as that around newly developed land, or along highways.
  • As our region becomes more fragmented, through development, local habitats become more vulnerable to invasives.