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Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Awarded to Mequon Nature Preserve

Aug. 4, 2014

On July 31, 2013, Mequon Nature Preserve, Inc. (MNP Inc.) received the 2nd annual Southeastern Wisconsin Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon award for pulling 5,280 pounds of this fast spreading invasive. 18 teams comprised of 322 volunteers from 8 counties pulled and bagged 10,060 pounds of garlic mustard and dames rocket. Volunteers donated 922 hours at this event which raises awareness of the dangers of invasive species to native vegetation and wildlife. The competition is sponsored by the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc. (SEWISC).

MNP Inc. had fun partnering with Donges Bay School fifth graders who pulled the majority of the garlic mustard at Mequon Nature Preserve. The fifth graders came to the preserve as part of their school’s Team Day, an annual event that gives back to the community. Donges Bay fifth graders have donated their time to restore the land for the past few years and their hard work is truly appreciated. MNP Inc. is also grateful to SEWISC for organizing the pull-a-thon, which strives to rid the environment of one of Mequon’s 8 most unwanted woodland invaders.

Most often found in woods, garlic mustard out-competes many tree seedlings and other native vegetation due to its fast growth rate, early summer maturity, and copious amounts of seeds. In addition, the displacement of native vegetation interferes with the food source and cover for native insects and other wildlife. To remove, pull by hand in spring when the ground is damp. For larger infestations, use herbicides such as glyphophate. Spray when native plants are dormant in early spring or in the fall. Once removed, replant the ground with a fast growing native that is able to compete with invasives. Keep in mind- garlic mustard makes a delicious pesto!

Mequon Nature Preserve is 438 acres of woodlands, wetlands, prairies and open fields. Of this approximately 175 acres are in active restoration. An environmental science program, which complements our primary purpose of land restoration, engages students from throughout the region. Its mission is to be a guiding example of land restoration by returning an urban/suburban area to pre-European settlement conditions and to establish an environmental education conservancy and natural habitat that inspires exploration and cultivates stewardship, encouraging visitors to get off the path.

The land has over five miles of trails and is free and open to the public daily. Visitors enjoy nature-based recreation activities such as hiking, biking, bird watching and cross country skiing. MNP’s primary building is the PieperPower Education Center, a multi-use classroom and conference facility used to host MNP Inc.’s free science-based field trips and numerous community events. The building is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and welcomes visitors.

Photo: Donges Bay School fifth graders pull garlic mustard at Mequon Nature Preserve on their school’s team day, helping the organization win an award.
Photo: Jason Nickels (right), Kristin Gies (middle), Emily Biagi (right) receive the Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Trophy from Jerry Ziegler (middle) of the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.

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