Volunteers Take on Garlic Mustard Challenge

volunteers with trash bags of garlic mustard

Working with The Nature Conservancy and the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Town of Kittery, ME, over thirty volunteers turned out in cold, damp weather to help pull garlic mustard, an invasive plant, from local natural areas.

At Fort Foster in Kittery Point, Maine, twelve volunteers spent more than three hours pulling garlic mustard from a variety of wooded sites around the popular park that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. The day was organized by the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Maine Conservation Corps. "The plants were small, since it's been so cold this year," reported Malin Clyde of the Stewardship Network: New England, but volunteers were able to pull up around 4 bags of the invasive plant, despite cold and damp weather. "The granola bars helped," stated one volunteer.

garlic mustard

Twenty-two volunteers worked in The Nature Conservancy's Lubberland Creek Preserve in Newmarket, NH, helping stewardship staff member Joanne Glode remove the plant from a wet area near the Conservancy's office. "We pulled all the plants we could find," reported Stewardship Network: New England staff member Ellen Snyder, who helped mobilize volunteers for the event. "We pulled the equivalent of five garbage bags of garlic mustard," which the group will report as part of the Garlic Mustard Challenge.

The Garlic Mustard Challenge is a collaborative effort organized by Nature Groupie to restore and protect native ecosystems by creating a friendly competition among regional groups who organize volunteers to pull garlic mustard. The project promotes active land management, education about garlic mustard and the impact of invasive plants, and the importance of ongoing land stewardship. 2014 is the first year the event is being organized in New England.