A very hungry beetle...

and you.

Welcome to wild science. A community-focused, data-driven approach to purple loosestrife management. Brought to you by the Wild Rivers Conservancy.

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Brown galerucella beetle on purple loosestrife leaf. Photo by Katie Sickmann

The solution to invasive species control starts in your backyard.

Become a volunteer scientist and raise, rear, and release biocontrol beetles in areas of heavy purple loosestrife populations and be rewarded by helping to restore healthy native habitats. Help create a more vigorous native plant community within the St. Croix River watershed, protecting the natural areas you know and love.


2024 applications are now closed. Please join our e-newsletter to be updated on volunteer opportunities. 

Getting Started As A Beetle Parent

PL Project Page

Eligibility Requirements

Must live within the Minnesota portion of the St. Croix River watershed. Not a MN resident? Let's connect.

Must have personal outdoor space that can accommodate the rearing cage throughout the beetle-raising process.

Must report volunteer hours served each month.

Must attend a required training to learn about rearing cage setup, data collection protocols, and reporting on May 4th or 11th.

Must be able to follow all directions and standard operating procedures, and perform assigned tasks.

Must be able to submit weekly reports through in-person drop-off or by completing an online form.

2023 Biocontrol Program Successes




Key 2024 Dates


Purple Loosestrife Rootstock Digging

May 1st, 2nd, or 3rd

Volunteers will help dig and repot purple loosestrife for use in biocontrol project, not required to attend to help raise the beetles


Beetle-Raiser Volunteer Training

Saturday, May 4th and Saturday, May 11th

Required training for volunteers participating in raising beetles, learn about project set-up and weekly duties, volunteers will receive kits


Conservancy Beetle Release Day

2024 Beetle Release Date TBD

Planned mass release day to release beetles raised to purple loosestrife infested areas within the St. Croix River watershed.





Frequently Asked Questions


Maria Young, Invasive Species Coordinator