Volunteers help pull invasive plant

Courtesy photo
Dave Holtzman of Huntingburg peeks through the leafy green woods looking for more invasive garlic mustard to stuff in his bag.

Twenty-One volunteers from five counties gathered to help eradicate invasive garlic mustard from the Ferdinand State Forest on May 7.

The volunteers spent about 21⁄2 hours traipsing through the spring woods, pulling approximately 400 pounds of the non-native plant that threatens to take over the under story of the forest, making it almost impossible for native wildflowers to flourish once it takes over. Volunteers worked on top of the hill near the gatehouse and in the valley below, where mustard has spread, being carried by water and gravity.

Organizer Carla Striegel-Winner, volunteer for the Invasive Species Awareness Coalition of Dubois County, said that the invasive weed puts out thousands of seeds per plant.

“It was amazing to have so many volunteers this year,” she said. “In past years we still had more to pull when we stopped for the evening. This time we finally got ahead of it.”

For more information on garlic mustard or other invasive plants, contact Invasive Species Specialist Emily Finch at 812-482-1171, ext. 3, or Emily.finch@in.nacdnet.net.

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