Service Project for Scouts – Knotweed Removal

Knotweed Service Day: Earn “Good Turn for America” Hours

Scouts Service Project – Earn Credits!

This is a service project opportunity for Scout units. We remove the invasive plant species of Japanese Knotweed from the banks of the Youghiogheny River.

**** 2023 Update, we are not planning on conducting this event. Normally this event is conducted in mid- May. 

Receive 8 hours of GOOD TURN for AMERICA scout service credit.

What is Japanese Knotweed? It is an Invasive Exotic species that becomes a monoculture in riparian zones. Basically, this plant takes over the stream banks and crowds out native plants, like Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron, and some rare plants that are disappearing from our Pennsylvania forests.


Why do you care? Because when native plants are lost, wildlife such as otters and birds lose protective cover and food supplies. Japanese Knotweed also impacts aquatic life by increasing the rate of soil erosion, thus killing the small bugs that fish eat and affecting their breathing ability.


How do you help? You will float the Class I & II Middle Yough in rafts and duckies to access the riverside plant. Each scout unit will be assigned a specific area on the river where they will remove the plant by cutting and pulling it from the river bank. State Park personnel and volunteers from local conservation groups will be on hand at each riverside location to help direct your efforts. ***


Our efforts for the past eight years have been focused on the three islands located about three miles downstream from the Middle Yough launch area. This area was selected by the Ohiopyle State Park staff. The islands, once a favorite lunch stop for river users, had been entirely overgrown with Knotweed, eliminating all native species and making the island impossible to enjoy. Due to being in the middle of the river , spraying the plant with chemicals wasn’t an option, so we resorted to mechanical means—in our case the, Youghiogheny WEED WHACKER. Since we’ve had such a great success over the last 3 years – we will be moving our focus to a new location!


***Depending on Japanese Knotweed levels in the park, we might move the service project elsewhere, or we’ll broaden our invasive species eradication efforts to include other plants as well! (That means that the Scouts have done an AWESOME job getting rid of Japanese Knotweed!)



Cost per participant is $15

Wilderness Voyageurs will provide all river equipment and transportation to the Middle Yough from our base in Ohiopyle.

Lunch IS NOT provided on this work project. Please pack your own or bring enough snacks to get you through a hard working day! We will provide dry containers to pack your lunch.

As a reward and a thank you; Wilderness Voyageurs is offering a Lower Yough whitewater rafting trip on Sunday for $35.00 a person (savings of $35.00).

“As always, your staff has provided my group with an amazing experience.”

~Rob Johnson

Trip Information


May 16, 2020

Check In Location
Ohiopyle, PA


Check In Times


Lunch is not provided.


Minimum Age

Suggested Items

Snacks or Lunch
Quick Dry Clothing
Shoes (not flip flops)
Wetsuits are available to rent

Self guided with a knotweed removing specialist
  • Cost


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