Rain showers and the sun combine to create conditions for an explosion of green in the watershed each spring. Mingled in all that green is the notorious garlic mustard plant. Although edible, its allelopathic properties are problematic to the native species around it (check our April 3rd “What’s That Weed” blog for more garlic mustard information). To combat this problem, Johnson Creek Watershed Council employs interns to hand pull garlic mustard to ensure thorough removal.
This year we expanded our training to include volunteers outside of the internship by offering a certificate to anyone completing 20 hours of training and removal from May – July. The team of five interns and multiple volunteers led by our Riparian Program Manager, Noah Jenkins, all have an interest in learning more about environmental restoration through the removal of plant species that are problematic. Their commitment has already cleared several areas of garlic mustard from properties adjacent to Johnson Creek. The creek can become a transport for seeds making timely removal imperative.
The 2023 Team is made up of students at local universities majoring in science fields, recent graduates, and individuals who want to expand their knowledge of restoration within the Johnson Creek Watershed. Miguel, an intern, uses their experience of “being drawn to plant life” when in the field to expand upon their horticultural portfolio by adding garlic mustard to it. As a regular JCWC volunteer, Kate is working to “deepen their commitment to Johnson Creek” as a 2023 intern. Each intern and volunteer has been a big help at reducing the garlic mustard numbers in the watershed this year and in past ones. JCWC couldn’t restore as many areas in the watershed without the help of our dedicated volunteers and interns.
Photo: L to R Kate, Shane, Mimi, Kai, Miguel, Bird, and PJ removing garlic mustard on properties adjacent to Johnson Creek before they seed.