Let's begin! Cover It Up Spring Instructions

Welcome! These resources show citizen scientists how to set up their experiment in spring of 2020. Before carrying out these steps at your site, please take time to study them at home and be sure you have completed the following steps:

  • Selected a site and sent preliminary information (site name, coordinates, and photos) to the research team
  • Removed common buckthorn at your site, an area ~30 x 40 feet
  • Received your Cover It Up materials from the University of Minnesota

These "how-to" resources are available in two formats that contain identical information, so you may choose between:

  • Text with illustrations or a
  • Series of instructional videos


Text with illustrations


Series of instructional videos


  1. Please prepare your pin flags using the Sharpie and instructions provided in your kit.
  2. We are postponing the buckthorn test seed component of your set-up. For now, disregard mention of buckthorn seeds and an 11-cm cardboard disk (mentioned in Video 1) and instructions on planting buckthorn (entire Video 4). Those supplies and steps will come later in 2020.

1: Welcome & overview

2: Set up your site

3: Draw site map & take photos

4: Plant test buckthorn

5: Plant native seed mixtures

6: Upload photos to