Celebrate National Invasive Species Awareness Week at Mercer Botanic Gardens by participating in two fun events starting Feb. 25.

Make a positive impact by participating in invasive plant species removal in Mercer’s West Side Arboretum on Tuesday, Feb. 25, and Thursday, Feb. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. While you work, learn to identify invasive species and why invasive, non-native plant species pose a threat to the local ecosystem. Tools and gardening gloves are provided. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a refillable water bottle and gardening gloves.

Take a break by learning about common invasive plant species in the Texas Gulf Coast region on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. Guests will meet local plant experts to learn how invasive plant species affect the local ecosystem and the backyard. Experts will also discuss which Texas native plants can replace invasive species in the garden.

The morning includes presentations, educational booths, a make-your-own seed ball station, a Texas native tree giveaway hosted by Precinct 4’s Legacy Trees Project, and breakfast refreshments. Research scientist Erin Kinney with Houston Advanced Research Center will share information on HARC’s invasive species guide and website at 9:30 a.m. Kinney will explain how to navigate galvbayinvasives.org and how to use the online tools to become familiar with local invasive species and their impact on the ecosystems.

Della Barbato, the director of education at the Native Prairies Association of Texas, will present “Nine Natives” at 11 a.m. The discussion will cover nine native plants that are not only beautiful and easy to grow but beneficial for pollinators and wildlife. Visitors can also explore educational booths provided by the Mercer Botanical Center, Harris County Master Gardeners – a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Native Plant Society of Texas, and HARC. No registration is required.

Mercer Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 Parks facility one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble, 77338. To register, seek additional information or request special assistance, contact Mercer at 713-274-4160 or mercerbotanicgardens@hcp4.net. Visit Mercer online at www.hcp4.net/parks/mercer.