Volunteers to pull garlic mustard at Magoon Creek

MANISTEE — The Northwest Invasive Species Network (ISN) will host a garlic mustard pull from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Magoon Creek Natural Area.

Volunteers should meet at Manistee United Methodist Church, located at 387 First St. in Manistee.

When harvested young, greens of invasive garlic mustard can be used as a garlicky salad green or made into pesto.

The ISN will spend the morning exploring local natural areas to learn about, find and pull garlic mustard, a major invasive species in Northwest Michigan, while discovering all the beauty these areas have to offer.

After the expedition, participants will reap the rewards of improving the creek with a garlic mustard lunch from noon to 1 p.m. The catered lunch is free to volunteers, but there is a cost for non-participants.

The plant is a good sources of vitamins A and C.

Garlic mustard was introduced to the U.S. by settlers in 1868 as a salad green and herb. It has toothed, triangular to heart-shaped leaves, and rosettes of leaves or white flowers on tall plants.

Like most invasive plants on the top 20 list for the Northwest Michigan region, garlic mustard replaces native plants in high-quality natural areas, which in turn reduces critical food resources for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

In addition to physically crowding out native plants — especially spring ephemerals like trillium and violets — garlic mustard releases chemicals into the soil that hinder the growth of other plants.

Furthermore, few native herbivores will eat garlic mustard, giving it a large competitive advantage over native plants.

The replacement of native plants by garlic mustard can hinder forest regeneration by limiting tree seedling growth. Garlic mustard seeds are able to live in the soil for at least 11 years before sprouting.

RSVP to Katie at kgrzesiak@gtcd.org or (231) 941-0960 extension 29.

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