The 2013 Garlic Mustard Challenge Begins Now

Be on the lookout for this invasive plant.  Even better?  Help get rid of it!

garlic mustard

For those of you who may not know, this is Garlic Mustard, an invasive plant brought from Europe by settlers in 1868.  Garlic Mustard is an aggressive understory plant which starts growing earlier and stops growing later than most of our native plants, shading them out and competing for resources.  That combined with the fact that it grows in dense clusters means that it can completely blanket an area in under 10 years.  Garlic Mustard produces large quantities of seeds, which can be dispersed by wind, water, animals and people, taking them to new areas where the seeds can remain viable for 7 years.  This invasive species has spread to 28 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces.

But there is something YOU can do to help stop it from spreading further.  Know what the plant looks like and if you see it, pull it and toss it in the garbage.  Better yet, you can join a Garlic Mustard pull.  The Stewardship Network is organizing several events in the mid-Michigan area.  Every year they coordinate the Garlic Mustard Challenge, a state-wide competition to see which group can pull the most.  In 2012 groups pulled over 308,000 pounds!  You can participate as an individual or as part of a group, organize your own event or join someone else’s – there are many possibilities.  Here are some of the events coming up in the next couple months.

Mid-Michigan Garlic Mustard Challenge Events

 

Celebrate Earth Day – Pull Garlic Mustard to Conserve Native Flowers! 

  • Contact midmich@stewardshipnetwork.org with questions about how you can help!
  • Dispose of bagged garlic mustard in trash (per MI invasive species law), not yard waste
  • Learn more about the Garlic Mustard Challenge and report bags of garlic mustard pulled at your own site by June 28 at www.stewardshipnetwork.org

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Harris Nature Center, Meridian Township Parks

Leader: Kit Rich (harriscenter@sbcglobal.net)

Time & meeting place: 9am-11am. Parking lot, 3998 Van Atta Road, Okemos MI

 

Saturday, April 20 at Michigan Audubon’s Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary

Leader: Tom Funke (tfunke@michiganaudubon.org)

Time and meeting place: Noon-2pm. Come for the nature hike beforehand, 9-11am. Park at the main lot at 3560 Havens Road, Hastings MI 49058

 

Saturday, April 27 at Michigan Audubon’s Capital City Bird Sanctuary

Leader: Bri Krauss (bri@michiganaudubon.org)

Time and meeting place: 9am-noon.  6001 Delta River Dr., Lansing, just east of Hawk Meadows Park.

 

Saturday, April 27 at Lake Lansing Park North, Ingham County Parks

Leader: Nick Sanchez (nsanchez@ingham.org)

Time & meeting place: 9am-noon. Parking lot of Lake Lansing Park North next to the softball field.

 

Wednesday, May 8 at Michigan Audubon’s Capital City Bird Sanctuary

Leader: Bri Krauss (bri@michiganaudubon.org)

Time and meeting place: 10am-2pm. 6001 Delta River Dr., Lansing, just east of Hawk Meadows Park.

 

Saturday, May 11 at Henry Fine Park, City of East Lansing Parks

Leader: Heather Surface (hsurfac@cityofeastlansing.com)

Time & meeting place: 10am-1pm. Parking lot off Winchester Drive, north of Pinecrest Elementary.

 

Saturday, May 18 at Harris Nature Center, Meridian Township Parks

Leader: Kit Rich (harriscenter@sbcglobal.net)

Time and meeting place: 9-11am.  Parking lot, 3998 Van Atta Road, Okemos MI

 

Tuesday, May 21 at Lake Lansing Park North, Ingham County Parks

Leader: Leslie Kuhn (midmich@stewardshipnetwork.org)

Time and meeting place: 9am-noon.  Parking lot next to the softball field, near Sandhill Shelter

 

Thursday, May 23 at Scott Woods/Hawk Island Park, Lansing/Ingham County Parks

Leader: Leslie Kuhn (midmich@stewardshipnetwork.org)

Time and meeting place: 9am-noon. Parking lot next to Redtail Shelter, Hawk Island Park, 1601 E. Cavanaugh, Lansing

 

Saturday, May 25 at Michigan Audubon’s Capital City Bird Sanctuary

Leader: Bri Krauss (bri@michiganaudubon.org)

Time and meeting place: 9am-noon. 6001 Delta River Dr., Lansing, just east of Hawk Meadows Park

 

Saturday, June 8 next to Baker Woodlot and Sanford Woods, MSU

Leaders: Jim Hewitt and Leslie Kuhn (midmich@stewardshipnetwork.org)

Time and meeting place: 9:30am-12:30. Park on Bogue St. where it dead-ends south of Service Rd.

 

The Stewardship Network also has a blog for the Garlic Mustard Challenge – visit to get the latest updates!  If you would like more information or have specific questions, you can contact the coordinators at garlicmustard@stewardshipnetwork.org.

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