Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers are a Vital Part of Invasive Plant Control
Please Help With Upcoming Garlic-Mustard Pulls!
By Phil Cantino

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. The pulls are organized by the Athens Forest Stewardship Club in collaboration with Rural Action, the Appalachian Ohio Group of the Sierra Club, Athens Conservancy, Athens Trails, and Friends of Strouds Run State Park.

The infestations in Blue Ash Valley (this Saturday morning) and Haley Trail (this Sunday afternoon) are particularly bad this year. We need more hands pulling.

Saturday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. (approximate ending time 12 noon)
Work site: Blue Ash Valley in Strouds Run State Park
Meeting place: parking lot behind Hampton Inn, next to University Mall
Contact: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu)

Saturday, April 26, 1:00 p.m. (approximate ending time 4 p.m.)
Work site: Bluebell Preserve (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: Le-Ax headquarters, Poston Station Rd.
Contact: Phil Cantino (594-3338, cantino@ohio.edu)
[Advance notice would be very helpful for this outing. Please contact Phil Cantino if you plan to come. We will enter through a gate, which will be locked behind us, so it is important that you arrive promptly at 1:00.]

Sunday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. (approximate ending time 12 noon)
Work site: The Ridges (the mature woods that borders SR-682)
Meeting place: steps of the Ridges Auditorium (NW of the main building)
Contact: Bob Houdek (houdek@ohio.edu)

Sunday, April 27, 1:00 p.m. (approximate ending time 4 p.m.)
Work site: Strouds Run State Park, vicinity of Haley Trail
Meeting place: Horsemen’s parking area on Lake Hill Rd. (off Scatter Ridge Rd. at east edge of park; contact Phil Cantino if you need directions)
Contact: Phil Cantino (594-3338, cantino@ohio.edu

Saturday, May 3, 1:00 p.m. (approximate ending time 4 p.m.)
Work site: Baker conservation easement (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: Dow Lake dam parking area, off US-50. We will car-pool to the work site, where parking is limited.
Contact: Phil Cantino (594-3338, cantino@ohio.edu)

(Picture: USDA Plants)

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