Imagining a Virginia Without Invasive Plants, A Statewide Future Search Strategic Planning Workshop

A community saving a white oak from invasive vines. Illustration by Noel B. Pugh

Building a Statewide Coalition and Strategic Blueprint to Reduce Invasive Plants and Increase the Availability of Native Plants

The Wool Factory Charlottesville, Virginia

December 12 – 14, 2023

Sponsored by Blue Ridge PRISM with support from the Richard K. Mellon Foundation.

Attendee Information

Click each link below to view/download a pdf copy of the document.

Strategic Planning Workshop Purpose

The purpose of the Future Search workshop is to identify and launch a series of new statewide initiatives and action plans to make dramatic progress against invasive plants and, as part of that effort, support the use of native plants.

What are we hoping to accomplish? 

This three-day strategic planning workshop is a targeted effort to reduce the presence of invasive plants and increase the supply of native plants in Virginia. To do this we are bringing together a microcosm of the interconnected system in Virginia that interacts with and can influence the presence of invasive plants and the availability of native plants.  By the end of the third day, we aim to have identified 2-6 statewide initiatives to make progress against the tsunami of invasive plants, and leave the workshop with plans for each initiative, including next actions, who will lead, and who will participate, and empower a leadership team that will drive each of the initiatives over the following months and years.

What is your commitment?

First, join us and be a part of shaping a future Virginia with fewer invasive plants. The three-day workshop is an intensive, all-hands interactive experience. It is very important that each attendee be present for all three days. As a participant in this workshop you will be asked to bring your “whole self” to the meeting, meaning all of your experiences and knowledge, and all of the hats you wear.  

Second, at a few specific moments within the workshop, you will be asked to work with others who represent a similar, particular point of view or “stake” in the future of invasive species within the State of Virginia.  You will be asked to represent one particular view during these times, even though you are able to represent many. For example, someone may be asked to represent those with a stake in educating the public on reducing invasive plant use, yet that person is also a landowner in Virginia and is interested in social action. For only part of the meeting you will be asked to work with a small group from this specific point of view. In all other mixed group exercises and whole group discussions, you will have the opportunity to speak from all of the multiple “hats” you may wear.  

By agreeing to attend this workshop we are assuming that you will work collaboratively and in support of reducing invasive plants in Virginia. This will include a variety of approaches which may include legislative remedies to remove plants from the trade.

Everyone attending the workshop will be asked to:

  • Self-manage time and tasks
  • Facilitate discussion in their groups
  • Keep the meeting purpose front and center
  • Provide information and make meaningful, focused recommendations
  • Help develop a vision for the future and commit to action steps


Contact Us!

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