Get Involved

The Sentinel Plant Network is a collaborative project with the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) and the American Public Gardens Association that leverages public garden professionals, volunteers and visitors in the early detection of high-consequence plant pests and pathogens. Currently there are over 300 American Public Gardens Association gardens who participate in this early detection program. Learn more About Us here.

How you get involved depends on who you are…if you work at a public garden consider becoming a member. If you are an educator take advantage of the resources on our website to help spread the word. If you are a garden visitor or plant enthusiast become an NPDN First Detector! Learn how you can get involved below:

For the public

  • Explore the pest specific information on our website to learn about Pests in the US and Threats to the US. The organisms within our threats section are not known to be established in the US but member gardens are monitoring for them should they be introduced.
  • Become a First Detector: Visit and complete NPDN’s online First Detector course or by participating in a local First Detector class or workshop. First Detector classes may be hosted by your local Sentinel Plant Network garden, Extension office or Land Grant University.
  • Get involved at your local Sentinel Plant Network garden: View Sentinel Plant Network gardens by state here or explore the map below to find nearby Sentinel Plant Network gardens that may be offering First Detector classes or workshops. Click on a star in the map to find contact information for the garden and the name of their Sentinel Plant Network representative to see if a First Detector class is being offered.
  • Begin monitoring the plants in your community and report suspect problems to your local extension office.

For educators and diagnosticians
View and download First Detector train-the-trainer materials here and diagnostic materials here developed specifically for the Sentinel Plant Network. Check to see what member gardens are scouting for in the Pests in the US or Threats in the US sections of our website.

For public gardens
Do you work at a public garden? Check to see if your garden is a member of the Sentinel Plant Network on the map or view Sentinel Plant Network gardens by state here. Interested in having your garden enroll in the network? Learn how at