Spring is the season for new growth, and unfortunately, that includes the growth and spread of invasive species. An invasive species is defined as a plant, fungus or animal species that causes ecological harm in an environment where it is not native.
One issue with invasive species is that many people are not aware of the complications these organisms pose to our environment and economy. Due to there being plenty of garlic mustard plants on campus, campus visitors and students may not even realize that these are non-native plants that harm our environment.
This past Friday, my university’s Society for Ecological Restoration group organized a Garlic Mustard pull. The goal was to pull as much garlic mustard (Alliaria peliolata) as possible to bring it back to the lab and use the leaves to make pesto.
What can you do to fight Garlic Mustard and other invasive plants?
- Learn about the invasive species in your area and how to identify them. Knowing what to look for can open your eyes to how many invasive plants are around you in your community.
- After pulling an invasive plant, dispose of them in the garbage instead of the compost or leaving them outdoors. Pulled plants can still release seeds, thus thwarting your effort of pulling them.
- Organize an invasives pull in your community! Getting other people involved in the effort to improve your community is arguably the best way to raise awareness about invasive species.