It is worth saving
Early in May, about 60 residents of various ages met at Mary Knoll Park for the 3rd Annual Weed Out. Despite the light rain earlier in the day, spirits were high, and the rain in fact, made the pulling easier.
Prior to the Weed Out, some people commented to me that attempting to rid an area of Garlic Mustard was a lost cause. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the decline in mustard population at Mary Knoll when compared to my Weed Out experience 2 years ago.
Patty Gerner showed me an area now chuck full of Jack-in-the-Pulpits that years ago used to be solid Garlic Mustard.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit - above
What made the difference?
She kept pulling the offenders out, and the area returned to native woodland plants. There are now 100s of Jack-in-the-Pulpits at Mary Knoll.
Yellow Violet - below
It is a lot of work, but saving our native Wisconsin wildflowers is worth the effort. It pays to pull out the mature weeds to keep them from going to seed. (The seeds stay viable for 10 years.)
My hat is off to Patty. Her efforts show that it is still possible for an individual to make a difference.
Ten years ago she was bothered by the increasing prevalence of Garlic Mustard in our neighborhood parks but did not whine for our government to solve her problem. Instead she did something about it herself—she mounted her own personal war on the weeds.
She has worked hard over the years pulling weeds and raising local awareness. A few years ago she entered into a cooperative effort with Gary Majeskie from our Park & Rec. Department and they now assist in the process. It would be great to see more of this type of public involvement.
After a very productive morning, Patty and Gary admire the bags of pulled weeds. (Another pile of full bags was stacked at the southwest end of the park.)
Weed control links: garlic mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash and labeled Garlic Mustard--do not compost!
LINKS::Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, Brookfieldnow, Brookfield7,