Safety in the Field

When you complete your training you will be presented with an identification card that verifies that you are qualified to remove invasive plants on the refuge. Please carry this card with you and wear a Weed Warriors hat or T-shirt when you are working on the Refuge.

If you are asked by a refuge visitor about your restoration activities, you can show them your card. Feel free to tell them about Weed Warriors! They may be interested in joining! Something identifying you as a John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Weed Warrior can be useful if visitors are not aware of the impact of invasive species and are confused or upset by the sight of someone removing plants from the refuge. Removing invasive plants from the Refuge without authorization is illegal.

On the back of the card are contact numbers just in case you need to contact refuge staff while you're working: In the case of a serious accident, please call 911 first.

Refuge phone: 215.365.3118

Refuge Biologist: Brendalee Phillips, 215.365.3118 x. 119,

A Reminder Regarding Tools

We've mentioned safety a few times, especially in the Tools & Methods section of this training. The essential thing to remember with all tools is to stay aware of who is around you, and where your tools may land, swing, or fall. Don't make the mistake of placing a tool in a pathway where someone is likely to trip over it and fall. Place tools out of the way — out of your way, and out of the way of those around you, including visitors to the Refuge.

safe rake

When you do place a rake, shovel or similar tool on the ground, be careful not to place it with the tines up, or the curve of the shovel up in the air.

safe rake

Instead, place the rake with the tines down.

safe shovel

Do the same with shovels and similar tools.

When carrying tools, carry them slightly in front of you with sharp edges or blades pointed to the ground where you can see what you may hit or bump accidently. Don't carry sharp edges over your shoulder, where turning to answer a question or observe a bald eagle could result in an accident.



Be sure to check in at the visitors center when you enter the Refuge. It's a good idea to let us know where you will be working and how long you expect to be working. As you are leaving, sign out and fill in your record sheet.

Let a friend, or family member, know you will be working at the refuge, and how long you expect to be there, especially if you will be working alone. Keep your Weed Warrior ID card handy for numbers to call in case of any problems.

If you or someone else is seriously injured, please call 911 first, then call Refuge staff.



Please wear:

• sturdy shoes

• light-colored long pants and a long sleeved shirt for protection from poison ivy, ticks, other insects, and scratches from branches and sticks

• gloves-especially when working around thorny plants

Consider wearing:

• a hat to protect your face from UV radiation and to stay cool

Water and More


Always carry water with you, especially during the warmer months of the year. Drink frequently, at least one liter every two hours. If you are working longer than two to three hours, bring a snack or lunch. During hot weather take frequent breaks and drinks.

Also, you may want to use an insect repellant to protect against tick and mosquito bites.

Plant Debris

All plant debris with flowers and/or seeds should be bagged and left on the side of the road next to your site. Garbage bags are available in the visitors center (they are located with the tools which can be checked out). Plant debris without flowers or seeds can be piled in the underbrush away from trails or roads.