Seventy-six Northeast Indiana Boy Scouts and volunteers from the Anthony Wayne Area Council worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to remove Garlic Mustard (Alliara petiolata) at Pokagon and Ouabache State Parks on Saturday.
This invasive species is one of the ten most destructive plants in Indiana. It thrives in shady and well lit conditions, spreads rapidly and crowds out native and desired plants. The disappearance of native plants also affects wildlife that depend on them. Garlic Mustard is especially difficult to eradicate for three reasons; a single plant will produce thousands of seeds, its two year life cycle enables germinated seedlings to get a head start over native plants each spring, and it is a very hardy plant that can survive northern Indiana winters, taking in nutrients from the sun or photosynthesizing during periods of above freezing temperatures.
Jody Heaston, Volunteer Coordinator for the IDNR reports that the “IDNR does a lot of hand pulling” and “depend(s) heavily on volunteers for this.” Garlic Pulling events are organized each spring mid-March through May. Anyone interested in helping to pull Garlic Mustard at Indiana State Parks is welcome to email Heaston at JHeaston@dnr.IN.gov or call 260-824-0926. Volunteer pulls are also posted on the
Participating Scouts, Scout leaders and volunteers will earn a Community Service Flag to add to the special Year of Celebration patch in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Scouting. To complete the patch Scouts must demonstrate five core values; Leadership, Achievement, Community Service, Character and the Outdoors. More information about the 100th Anniversary Celebration can be found at www.awac.org or by calling the council office.
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