2013 Garlic Mustard Challenge

It’s time for the Garlic Mustard Seed Challenge! The challenge is run by the Stewardship Network, based in Ann Arbor, MI, a non-profit organization that works to increase the care for the Great Lakes region and its natural lands and water. And what’s Garlic Mustard Seed? It’s an invasive species of plant that was brought over by European settlers as an herb. The plant, however, has no native predators, therefore it flourishes and competes with wildflowers for sunlight and water. Not only this, but it also excretes a chemical that prohibits the growth of wildflowers and saplings. Overall, it threatens our biodiversity and natural species of plants.

So, this is the challenge: to pick as much Garlic Mustard as possible. The goal is to collect 300,000 pounds of the plant around the Great Lakes region and to be able to declare at least 25 sites as Garlic Mustard-free. Anyone can compete in this competition. All you have to do is pull the plant, put them in plastic garbage bags, and send them to the landfill. Garlic Mustard should not be composted because it’s a biennial that has a large amount of energy stored in its taproot, which can easily lead it to seed and spread in compost.

The Garlic Mustard Challenge was originally comprised of clusters of people who would then compete in te challenge. This year there are three clusters, however you can get involved individually or as an organization.

More information can be found at http://garlicmustardchallenge.wordpress.com.

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