Posted by: csdailyblog | May 14, 2010

Conserve Students vs Invasive Species Once Again

Conserve School student Jennifer and a member of the Land O' Lakes Fish and Wildlife Club pull garlic mustard on propery in Phelps.

Conserve School student Di has her bag nearly full. Seventeen bags full of garlic mustard were collected in all.

There is no end to the invasive species that are creeping their way into the Northwoods, and Conserve School students are putting their community service hours to good use by participating in local efforts to fight these invaders.

Science Teacher Andy Milbauer, Conserve School students from Andy’s Applied Ecology class, and members of the local Fish and Wildlife Club teamed up on Wednesday afternoon to pull invasive garlic mustard on some privately owned land near our campus. The work day was arranged by Rod Sharka, a Land O’ Lakes resident and retired biology teacher who volunteers for the Nature Conservancy and coordinates local efforts to fight invasive species.

The garlic mustard is blooming early this year due to a warm spring, so it was important to pull the plants before they went to seed. Garlic mustard is a prolific seed producer that secretes a toxic substance into the ground, poisoning plants growing nearby. This highly invasive plant can take over woodland areas quickly, covering the forest floor in a thick carpet and suppressing the regeneration of native plant life.

Mary Anna

Student Bace (standing) and Science Teacher Andy Milbauer (right) fill their bags with garlic mustard.

The final haul of the work day. Garlic mustard has to be disposed of carefully in order not to inadvertently spread seeds or small bits of roots or stem that might regenerate.

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