Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Volunteer Opportunities

Spring Garlic Mustard Pulls
Submitted by Tanner Filyaw, AmeriCorps*VISTA with Forestry

There will be many opportunities this spring to help remove garlic-mustard, an invasive introduced weed, from Strouds Run State Park, City-owned preserve land, The Ridges, and along the Hockhocking-Adena Bikeway. Doing so will help protect our native flora. Garlic-mustard reproduces prolifically, producing as many as 20,000 seedlings per square meter, displacing the diverse wildflowers and ferns that were there before the mustard invaded. Garlic-mustard also suppresses the fungal partners (called mycorrhizae) in the root system of most trees (and many other plants), which the trees depend on to help absorb enough water and minerals from the soil.

Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the events, whether or not you are affiliated with the sponsoring organizations. You do not need to notify anyone in advance in order to participate, but a contact person is listed below for each event in case you have questions. In general, heavy rain will cancel the outing but a light drizzle will not.

What to bring: drinking water, bag lunch or snack, sun protection, sturdy footwear, garden gloves (optional, but recommended if you are allergic to poison-ivy). No tools are needed; the mustard plants pull out easily. Dates of the pulls are April 7, 8, 21 and 22. See the "Events Calendar" to the right for locations and times. Call Tanner Filyaw at 740-767-4938 for more info.

"Garden Day" at the RARE Center
Submitted by the Folks at the Rural Action Research and Education Center

Nestled on 68 acres of rolling land near Rutland in Meigs County, Ohio, the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs is a not-for-profit research facility and preserve.

The Center is a project of Rural Action's Sustainable Forestry Program. It was founded in 1998 by Frontier Natural Products Co-operative, which transferred the management of the center to Rural Action in 2000. Advised by a council of manufacturers, retailers, herbalists, environmentalists, media, growers and researchers, the Center cultivates and studies medicinal herbs that are at risk of extinction, and has been an annual participant in the Landowner Conference: Income Opportunities for Small Farm and Woodland Owners.

And now, the RARE Center needs your help. There is lots of spring work that needs to be done in the gardens and green house, from general cleaning and maintenance to seed-starting. Please come to the RARE Center (at 33560 Beech Grove Road, Rutland, Ohio 45775) on Monday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help. Bring a dish for a potluck lunch. Call Elise at 740-767-4938 to register and recieve directions.

Native Plant Rescue
Submitted by Chris Tomazic, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Media

The Native Plant Rescue has begun another season of preserving the natural history of our region (check out "Volunteer Plant Rescue" in the News section). The next Plant Rescue will be on Saturday, April 14. Volunteers should meet at the Wayne National Forest Headquarters on US-33 at 9:30 a.m. Lunch is provided! The rescue will end at 3:30 p.m.

The rescues are always tons of fun! Spring is a superb time to wander around the wonderfully topographical forests of Southeastern Ohio. Plus, this will give you the opportunity to learn or practice your plant identification skills. Who knows, you may even find some mushrooms! Dress for the woods and bring a shovel if possible. Contact Tanner Filyaw at 740-767-4938 or for more info.

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