How to Host a Spotter's Network Workshop

Spotters-Network-logo_finalWhat you will need to host a Spotter's workshop:

  • a. What you will need (checklist)
  • b. Workshop materials
  • c. Workshop preparation
  • d. Participant packages
  • e. Presentation preparation
  • f. Presentation wrap-up 

a. What You Will Need to Host a Workshop

Workshop checklist:

  • Contact the ISC to register your workshop two weeks prior to the date and to order FREE giveaways and other valuable resources
  • Locate and reserve a venue that will accommodate the anticipated number of participants
  • Notify your group of the date, time and location of the presentation. A reminder phone call may be needed
  • Laptop computer (Windows 97 or later)
  • Screen for PowerPoint presentation or a large white wall
  • Projector

Suggested items to bring along:

    • Extension cord
    • Laser pointer
    • Silk or pressed invasive plant samples (may be available from your regional coordinator)
    • Handouts - any information regarding the plants species that are being presented, i.e. ISC T.I.P.S. sheets, Ministry of Agriculture "Guide to Weeds" etc.
    • Water, snacks or refreshments
    • Note paper/pens/pencils/name tags
    • Giveaways - any handouts/calendars etc. from your regional coordinator or from the ISC - Items can be ordered from the office.

    b. Workshop materials

    When hosting a workshop you will choose from one of the five Spotter’s Network workshops available. All workshops are designed to teach basic invasive plant identification, management and reporting, and, with the exception of Invasive Plants 101, all are geared to specific audiences and topics. It is important to choose the workshop based on the interests of your primary audience.

    All of the necessary hand-outs, resources, and presentation materials for each workshop are available by contacting the ISC head office

    c. Workshop Preparation

      • Submit a media release advertising your event if you have fewer than 15 workshop attendees. Click here for a Media Template.
      • Plan for the workshop to run approximately one hour depending on group size and length of discussions.
      • Locate and reserve a venue. Venue must be donated or paid for by your organization; ISC does not cover venue costs.
      • Call us at 1-888-933-3722 with any questions.
      • Contact your regional coordinator for: 
        • guidance around invasive plant species to target for the workshop
        • information about hosting a Communities Pulling Together Event where your group can earn $250.00 for partaking in a weed pull – for more information please click here.

      d. Participant Packages

        • Fill out and print all Participant Handouts for the number of participants that you expect at your workshop. Don’t forget to include any other related material.
        • Ensure that participants fill out the Sign in Sheet. This information will be used to document the number of workshop participants and to track those individuals interested in becoming new “Spotters”.
        • Ensure that all participants, including workshop hosts, complete an Evaluation Form. These forms assist the ISC in continuing to improve this workshop.

        e. Presentation Preparation

        Choose the presentation that suits your group needs and follow the steps below. Good Luck!

        1. Invasive Plants 101
        2. Agriculture and Range Invasive Plants
        3. Aquatic Invasive Plants
        4. Horticultural Invasive Plants
        5. Aboriginal People and Invasive Plants

        PowerPoint Presentation

        Step 1. Order the CD of presentations. Choose the ones applicable to you.

          Step 2. Prepare your presentation in advance. Open the two PowerPoint presentations: (Module Name).ppt and (Module Name - Invasive Plants).ppt. For the Invasive Plants.ppt, there is one slide for each plant species, copy and paste your selected plant slides into the blank slides provided in the module PowerPoint presentation.

            NOTE: the Aquatic Invasive Plants presentation is complete as is and requires no alteration.

            Step 3. Choose three regionally important invasive plant species from the invasive plants PowerPoint presentation. Your regional coordinator will be available to assist you with this.

            Choose two alert plant species. Your regional coordinator will be available to assist you with this. Copy and paste the plant slides into the respective module PowerPoint presentation.

            Presentation Notes

            Step 1. In advance of the event, print a copy of the module “Presentation Notes” and read through them while advancing the PowerPoint slide show.

              Step 2. Open the “Invasive Plant Notes” document and use only the information for the plants you have selected. All plants are arranged alphabetically by their common name.

                Step 3. Make sure that the plant slides that you have selected for the presentation and the plant notes respective to those slides are in the same order.

                  Step 4. Practice the entire presentation, complete with invasive plant notes, to become familiar with the information and to ensure that you have sufficient time to complete it.

                    Remember to save the new version of the Invasive Plants Presentation to your laptop.

                    f. Workshop Wrap-up

                    Step 1. Hand out giveaways to workshop participants.
                    Step 2. Collect Evaluation Forms and Sign-in Sheet(s) and submit them to the ISC office.

                    Please mail, fax, or email scanned copies of this information to:
                    • Invasive Species Council of BC
#104 - 197 North Second Ave., Williams Lake, BC V2G 1Z5
                      Phone: (250) 305-1003 or 1-888-933-3722
                    Step 3. Consider announcing the success of your event and raising public awareness by submitting a media release! Don’t forget to include photos!

                    We appreciate any photos taken of your event that can be added to the collaborative online photo gallery and for use in outreach publications. Please send images to and specify who should receive photo credit. Thank you!

                    In Your Words...

                    • "We had a great hike at Kenna Cartwright Park. The kids built a snowman and we all enjoyed the views. The outreach worker showed us some plants that don't belong in the park, gave us info about them and what to do about them, and gave us all some cool gifts from the Invasive Plant Council. Thank you!"

                      Susan Hammond, Kamloops Young Naturalist Club

                    • “Parks Canada and Canadians have benefited from the partnership to have on-the-ground Hot Spots crews, and we would be happy to work with a crew in the future at one of our many national parks and national historic sites that are in need of invasive plant management.”

                      Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

                    • “I am impressed with the coverage of the GIS mapping data now available. I will be developing an Invasive Species Management Plan for Pacific Spirit over the next several years and these maps will help as a coarse indication of current conditions, and in guiding initial inventory and monitoring efforts.”

                      Markus Merkens, Pacific Spirit Park area manager, Metro Vancouver

                    • “Working with the Hot Spots crew in Saanich in 2010, we practiced different methods to treat knotweed with glyphosate using the injection gun on several sites. With these skills I was able to implement Saanich's first knotweed eradication pesticide treatment program for private properties.”

                      Donna Wong, Environmental Stewardship Officer, District of Saanich

                    • “Thank you for orchestrating access to the Hot Spots crew for GINPR.  This crew allowed us to move the restoration project on Princess Margaret ahead by months if not by years.”

                      Wayne Bourque, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Parks Canada

                    • “Our crew has finished their work at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. I want to thank you, on behalf of Parks Canada, for providing the crew to us. They were well-trained and got a lot of important restoration work done in our nationally-important heritage areas.”

                      Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

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