Helsinki to pay residents to eradicate invasive plants

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Helsinki to pay residents to eradicate invasive plants

The City of Helsinki is set to pay residents to eliminate invasive plants through a mobile app game, the city announced on Monday, reported Xinhua.

Starting on June 3, Helsinki residents will be able to earn cash by recording and mapping the location of plants such as lupines and Himalayan balsam, using the Crowdsorsa app.

The crowdsourced initiative will pay players up to 25 cents per square meter of invasive species they remove.

"Himalayan balsam and lupine are among the most harmful invasive plants in Helsinki, threatening the biodiversity of our urban nature. Mechanical removal is difficult in many locations, so every pair of hands is needed in this fight. We hope the mobile game and cash rewards will make the task more enjoyable and rewarding," said Armi Koskela, volunteer coordinator for the city's environmental services.

Players can remove either self-discovered or pre-mapped Himalayan balsam or lupine. Videos of affected areas are recorded before and after removal, and uploaded to Crowdsorsa for verification. Once the videos are approved, players can transfer their rewards from a virtual wallet to their bank account.

The game's automatically calculated rewards are based on the area, density, and type of invasive species removed.

The startup Crowdsorsa has already implemented the concept in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and the United Kingdom. In Helsinki, the app has previously been used to monitor the condition of bicycle paths.


  1. Megan Johnson says

    Interesting initiative! How can residents ensure the accurate identification of invasive plant species through the app?

    1. Ellie Smith says

      Hi Megan, residents can ensure accurate identification of invasive plant species through the app by referencing visual guides and information provided within the Crowdsorsa platform. Additionally, the app may have features like real-time plant recognition using AI technology to assist users in correctly identifying the plants. It’s a user-friendly and informative tool designed to support the eradication efforts effectively.

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