All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's Weed Out time at Mary Knoll Park, Sat., May 12, 2012

This Saturday, Patty Gerner* and area volunteers are meeting at Mary Knoll Park for their annual Garlic Mustard Pull: a.k.a. the Weed-Out. Consider joining in and don't worry if you don't know anything about garlic mustard because Patty (and usually Gary Majeskie from Park & Rec. Forestry Department) will give instructions on how to recognize the weeds and pull them out. 

The Weed Out is held rain or shine (aren't we all hoping for shine?) from 9am to noon. Big collection bags are provided by the Park & Rec. Department and disposal is taken care of too. Do wear gardening clothes, and gardening gloves are a good idea too.

In recent years, Boy Scout Troop 23 and other hardy men have dialed-up the weed out a notch to include bushwhacking: digging/pulling out invasive Buckthorn trees and Honeyscukle bushes. Both of these invasive plants produce numerous berries that the birds eat. Unfortunately, though the birds gobble them up, the berries cause digestive distress (I am trying to be polite here) and they get no nutritional value from them. These trees and bushes easily take over and crowd out native plants that would nourish the wildlife. So Patty's husband, Scott Gerner, the scouts, and crew have started in an area near the tennis courts removing these offenders.

Because of the early spring weather, the garlic mustard is ahead of schedule this year. It is already in bloom, which makes it easy to spot. The rainy weather we have had should make it easy to pull out.

So consider joining us this Saturday at Mary Knoll Park, 615 S. Sunnyslope Road, just south of the I-94 overpass bridge, in Brookfield. I've been to most of the Weed Outs and it's always been an enjoyable workday, not to mention a great opportunity to learn about these invaders so you can keep them out of your yard.

*Patty Gerner, affectionately known as the Garlic Mustard Lady, lives near Mary Knoll Park and was saddened to see the native wild flowers that grow there crowded out by the garlic mustard. She began her one woman campaign against this pest in 1997. Patty enlisted the help of her family, some friends, and then the Park & Rec. Department, giving her disposal support. From that effort, the Weed-Out was born. Thanks to her tenacity, the wildflowers have made a real comeback and now we are able to work on new areas in the park.

Past Garlic Mustard Posts with photos:
3rd Annual Weed Out (with photos)
It is worth saving (pictures from Weed Out and wildflowers)
Oh, the shame! (photos and tips for evicting Garlic Mustard)

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.

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