Dr David Rossiter
Learning Environment Action Discovery (LEAD) is an environmental restoration and protection organization at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. LEAD aims to build ecosystems that are healthy, stable, diverse, and abundant through community collaboration in the form of restoration work parties. In these work parties, student volunteers work together to remove invasive and non-native species so that ecosystems can thrive. The core focus of their invasive species removal is Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, English Holly, Canada Thistle, and other groundcover plants such as Buttercup and Lesser Celandine. These species outcompete native plants and harm natives by increasing disease, blocking sunlight, reducing biodiversity, etc. They are also a focus because they negatively affect plants, animals, and people by destroying habitat, reducing crop yields, creating hazards, decreasing recreational opportunities, and impacting land values. In the spring, volunteers also sometimes help plant native species to improve animal habitat and restore healthy ecosystem functioning. Work parties are held in the campus’s Outback Farm and Sehome Arboretum.
Goetze, Samantha, "LEAD Program Peer Advisor" (2022). College of the Environment Internship Reports. 47.
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