BETHEL – Volunteers will pitch in during the 10th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 20, to pull out Japanese barberry and two other invasive species, burning bush and periwinkle, that are spreading on the White Mountain National Forest’s visitor center.

Japanese barberry is a fast-spreading shrub that mingles with a myriad of plant species thriving across the forest floor. It is an invasive plant that can eventually choke out native plants. If left alone it can reduce the diversity of forest ecosystems and eliminate important forage for wildlife.

After several years of watching Japanese barberry take hold and spread across this parcel of forest in Bethel, local forest managers have decided it’s time to put a stop to it. They are enlisting help from local residents who can lend a hand with the efforts to remove Japanese barberry from the old pine forest. The work will take several hours and will include discussions on invasive plants, plant identification, and safety. Lunch will be donated by a local eatery.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA, National Public Lands Day brings thousands of volunteers throughout America together to refurbish and restore the country’s public places. Nearly 80,000 volunteers are expected at 500 sites this year. An estimated $8 million worth of improvements will result from the volunteers’ work, supported by community contributions of food, tools, and equipment.

For more information, phone the White Mountain National Forest at 603-466-2713 ext. 222 (TTY 603-466-2856), or visit

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