The Great Invader Raider Rally Offers a Chance to Give Back


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is gearing up for its fourth annual Great Invader Raider Rally Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.  Formerly known as the Great Air Potato Round-Up, the rally continues a tradition that began more than 16 years ago as a community-wide day of service where volunteers of all ages work to remove non-native, invasive plants from Gainesville’s natural areas.

The Great Invader Raider Rally focuses on removing several invasive plants, such as the ubiquitous coral ardisia, an evergreen shrub with bright red berries, and Caesar’s weed, an insidious weed that produces sticky burrs that “hitchhike” on animal fur and clothing, furthering its spread.

All registered participants receive a commemorative t-shirt featuring original artwork by Gainesville’s own Merald Clark.

The day of service is followed by a volunteer celebration at Morningside Nature Center, located at 3540 E. University Ave. The celebration features music by The Beatles tribute band The Impostors, raffle prizes from local businesses, environmental education tables and games.  Local food trucks will have food available for purchase.

Registration is required to participate in the rally. You may register online as an individual or group at If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor of the Great Invader Raider Rally, please send an email requesting information to

Stay updated on the latest invasive plant information at or Share your rally experience by using #GIRR2018.

For program and sponsorship information, please contact Darby Guyn, project coordinator, at 352-262-6670, or

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Linda Demetropoulos, nature operations manager, at 352-393-8445 or