Approximately 25 people gathered at a campsite at Camden Hills State Park on Saturday, Jan. 5, to volunteer an afternoon to eradicate invasive plants, as part of Governor Janet Mills' inaugural Day of Service. The event was one of 40 organized by the Maine Commission for Community Service and held across all 16 counties.

Nancy Olmstead, a biologist with the Maine Department of Conservation, instructed the group on identification of three invasive plants now plaguing the park:  Asiatic Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose and Shrub Honeysuckle. After locating the plants, participants used loppers to cut them,  adding any brush to piles for park staff to collect. Lindsey May of the Maine Conservation Corps, an Americorps program, stocked the picnic table with snacks and manned a campfire ready to warm any chilly volunteers.

State Representative Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, was on hand at the outset to thank the participants for their work. She noted that as a member of the Camden Conservation Commission, she was especially appreciative of the work being done at Camden Hills to combat invasive species. Michael Ashmore of Waldoboro, whose family joined him for the work day, celebrated his birthday by finding and snipping the pernicious plants. Ashmore, who serves as the Training and Program Director for the state's Commission for Community Service, said he applauded the efforts of Governor Mills in instituting a day of service. "I don't recall this kind of thing happening in the past," he said.