Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Garlic Mustard Pulls Begin April 2nd

As in past years, volunteers will remove garlic-mustard from Strouds Run State Park, City-owned preserve land, Athens Conservancy preserves, and along the Hockhocking-Adena Bikeway. Doing so will help protect our native flora from this troublesome invasive weed. Garlic-mustard reproduces prolifically, 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 plants depend on to help absorb enough water and minerals from the soil. New research indicates that the overabundance of white-tailed deer is contributing to the spread of garlic-mustard by eating many of the competing native plants. Deer find garlic-mustard distasteful and seldom eat it.

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 outings but a light drizzle will not.

Children are welcome at most of the work sessions, but caution is needed in Blue Ash Valley and the Bluebell Preserve because the mustard in these areas is intermixed with lots of wildflowers, which are easily trampled. Children with a gentle temperament will do fine even at these sites, but rambunctious kids may do more damage than good.

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. For protection against poison-ivy and thorns, long pants and socks are strongly recommended.

Between April 18 and May 15, anyone working in the woods should wear a bright orange vest or cap because these sessions fall during turkey hunting season. Turkey hunting is permitted only in the morning between April 18 and May 1. From May 2 until May 15, it is permitted all day.

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

Work Dates

Saturday, April 2, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Trace, Finger Rock, and Athens Trails in Strouds Run State Park
Meeting place: The first parking area on the right (south) side of Strouds Run Rd. as you enter
the park coming from Athens
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)
It will be necessary to wade a small stream, which is usually ankle-deep but may be deeper following rainstorms; keep in mind when choosing footwear.

Saturday, April 2, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: along Sundown Trail in the first valley east of Dow Lake dam
Meeting place: Dow Lake dam parking area, off US-50
Contact: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu; 594-6796)


Sunday, Apr 3, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Baker conservation easement (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: parking area on west side of SR-690, 0.5 mile north of US-50, about 1 mile east of Dow Lake dam parking lot.
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)
Note: It will be necessary to wade a small stream, which is usually ankle-deep but may be deeper following rainstorms; keep in mind when choosing footwear.

Sunday, April 3, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: along Sundown Trail in the first valley east of Dow Lake dam
Meeting place: Dow Lake dam parking area, off US-50
Contact: Bob Houdek (houdek@ohio.edu; 664-2122)

Saturday, April 9, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Rockhouse Trail (City of Athens preserve land)
Meeting place: Sells Park parking lot, at north end of Avon Place, Athens
Contacts: Lora Munsell (munsell@ohio.edu; 593-3675) and John Knouse (jaknouse@frognet.net; 502-608-2394)

Saturday, April 9, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: along Sundown Trail in the first valley east of Dow Lake dam
Meeting place: Dow Lake dam parking area, off US-50
Contact: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu; 594-6796)

Sunday, April 10, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Blue Ash Valley in Strouds Run State Park
Meeting place: parking lot behind Hampton Inn, next to University Mall
Contact: Bob Houdek (houdek@ohio.edu; 664-2122)

Sunday, April 10, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Baker conservation easement (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: parking area on west side of SR-690, 0.5 mile north of US-50, about 1 mile east of Dow Lake dam parking lot.
Contact: John Knouse (jaknouse@frognet.net; 502-608-2394)
Note: It will be necessary to wade a small stream, which is usually ankle-deep but may be deeper following rainstorms; keep in mind when choosing footwear.

Saturday, April 16, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Bluebell Preserve (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: Le-Ax headquarters, Poston Station Rd.
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)
[We will enter through a gate, which will be locked behind us, so it is important that you arrive promptly at 9:00. This is not a good work session for young children because the mustard is intermixed with dense wildflowers that are easily damaged by carelessly placed feet.]

Saturday, April 16, 1:00 p.m.
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; 664-2122)

Saturday, April 16, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Baker conservation easement (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: parking area on west side of SR-690, 0.5 mile north of US-50, about 1 mile east of Dow Lake dam parking lot.
Contact: David Gedeon (dgedeon@compuserve.com; 592-6074)
Note: It will be necessary to wade a small stream, which is usually ankle-deep but may be deeper following rainstorms; keep in mind when choosing footwear.

Sunday, April 17, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: along Hockhocking-Adena Bikeway between mile 5.5 (Armitage) and 7.0
(The Plains)
Meeting place: end of Armitage Road, where it meets the bike path
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)

Sunday, April 17, 1:00 p.m.
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; 594-6796)

Saturday, April 23, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: along Sundown Trail in the first valley east of Dow Lake dam
[or hike to Haley Trail if Sundown is finished]
Meeting place: Dow Lake dam parking area, off US-50
Contact: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu; 594-6796)

Saturday, April 23, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Baker conservation easement (Athens Conservancy)
Meeting place: parking area on west side of SR-690, 0.5 mile north of US-50, about 1 mile east of Dow Lake dam parking lot.
Contact: John Knouse (jaknouse@frognet.net; 502-608-2394)
Note: It will be necessary to wade a small stream, which is usually ankle-deep but may be deeper following rainstorms; keep in mind when choosing footwear.

Sunday, April 24, 9:00 a.m.
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; 664-2122)



Sunday, April 24, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Blue Ash Valley and Crumley Ridge in Strouds Run State Park
Meeting place: parking lot behind Hampton Inn, next to University Mall
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338) and Tanner Filyaw (tanner@ruralaction.org; 330-466-5082)

Saturday, April 30, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Strouds Run State Park, vicinity of Haley and Hank Trails
Meeting place: Horsemen’s parking area on Lake Hill Rd.*
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)

Saturday, April 30, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Strouds Run State Park, vicinity of Haley and Hank Trails
Meeting place: Horsemen’s parking area on Lake Hill Rd.*
Contacts: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu; 594-6796)

Sunday, May 1, 9:00 a.m.
Work site: Trace, Finger Rock, and Athens Trails in Strouds Run State Park
Meeting place: The first parking area on the right (south) side of Strouds Run Rd. as you enter
the park coming from Athens
Contact: Phil Cantino (cantino@ohio.edu; 594-3338)

Sunday, May 1, 1:00 p.m.
Work site: Strouds Run State Park, vicinity of Haley and Hank Trails
Meeting place: Horsemen’s parking area on Lake Hill Rd.*
Contacts: David Tees (tees@ohio.edu; 594-6796)

Friday, May 13, Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, starting 1:00 pm each day.
Campout and extended mustard-pull at the Chestnut Grove Campsite on the Athens Conservancy’s Blair Preserve. Meeting place: The first parking area on the right (south) side of Strouds Run Rd. as you enter the park coming from Athens
Contact: John Knouse (jaknouse@frognet.net; 502-608-2394)

*The parking area for the Haley and Hank Trail work sessions is about a 20-minute drive from Athens. Go out Strouds Run Rd. and into the state park. At the main junction in the park, instead of turning left to the campground or right to the beach, continue straight on Strouds Run Rd. You will climb a steep, winding hill, with a junction at the top (Scatter Ridge Rd.). Stick to the right at this point (the name of the road you want to follow changes at this point to East Scatter Ridge Rd.). Soon you will pass Pete Smith Rd. coming in from the left. Continue on E. Scatter Ridge Rd. (more than a mile) until you see Lake Hill Rd. on your right. There is a sign there for horse trail access. Turn right on Lake Hill Rd., and the parking area is on the right a short way up the road. Although the route winds a lot, you will get there if you take the right fork at every junction after the steep climb.

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