The Little Forks Conservancy is working to kick start the invasive exotic species control season by encouraging homeowners to remove garlic mustard from their homes between April 24- May 31st. Garlic mustard is an invasive plant that spreads rapidly through woodlots out-competing our native vegetation. It can also be established in residential areas.
Check out this quick video from the Director of Land Conservation:
Garlic mustard is a biennial flowering plant which grows low to the ground in the first year and then flowers in the second year. During the second year, garlic mustard will develop white flowers and grow up to 2 or 3 feet tall with the ability to disperse numerous seeds by wind and water.
“With folks spending a little more time at home this spring has inspired to create the Stay Home Garlic Mustard Pull where residents of our community can take a little time to help eradicate this unwanted plant from their yards” commented Elan Lipschitz, Director of Land Protection.
“We are all in this together to help improve our local environment and working together we can have an impact on controlling this unwanted plant from our backyards and neighborhoods” commented Lipschitz.
It's important to bag these plants in trash bags and leave in the sun to fully kill the plant. Garlic Mustard has the ability to continue to grow and seed even out of the soil!
“We have created tags that can be downloaded for your trash bag, the tags identify the plant and explain that it is an invasive species to be disposed of”, commented Shelby Cain, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member. “This is a great opportunity of a little thing you can do safely at home that can make a difference.
One consideration for the pull is if you have a large infestation on your property to limit the number of bags per week to one or two to be considerate to our refuse collectors during the time of heavy hard waste collection. For more information regarding disposal of invasive species check out this guide.
This year we are taking some time to get out into the preserves with the community. Whether it is to learn about a creature or plant in the preserve or to share the unique beauty of each preserve with community members.
May 17th 6:00pm — Wildflowers at Szok with Chippewa Nature Center- join Interpretive Naturalist Jeanne Henderson from the Chippewa Nature Center for a hike to observe the native wildflowers!
May 24th 5:00pm — Vernal Pool Hike at Riverview Natural Area with Sara – Join Sara at Riverview to hike the first loop and explore the vernal pools near the trail. Sara will go into the importance of the vernal pools and which animals rely on them to survive. Wear waterproof boots.
June 19th 6:30pm — Dog Hike at Riverview Natural Area – Meet Little Forks Staff members and their dogs! We invite community members to have a puppy play date and hike through Riverview. We ask to keep dogs on a leash during this hike. People without dogs are welcome to join as well.
June 28th 7:00pm — Sunset Hike and Campfire with AmeriCorps Member Ted at Riverview Natural Area – Meet Ted at the Riverview north entrance off of 5 Mile Road where he will lead a hike near sunset and end with a campfire where he will share stories of backpacking adventures and others are welcome to share their adventure stories with the group. Bring a chair/blanket, flash light or headlamp.
July 19th 6:30pm — Senior Services Social at Averill Preserve with Andrea- Join Senior Services and Little Forks Conservancy for a walk along the new trail. Contact Andrea for more details.
July 21st 10:30am — Salamander Hike at Riverview Natural Area with Interpretive Naturalist Michelle Fournier from the Chippewa Nature Center to look under logs and learn how to use the app Herp Atlas!
July 25th 5:00pm — Averill Preserve Hike – Join Little Forks Staff to see the completed all access path and all the new features.
August 11th 10am Ferns & Fungi at Forestview Natural Area with Chippewa Nature Center- join Interpretive Naturalist Jeanne Henderson from the Chippewa Nature Center for a hike to observe the variety of ferns and fungus growing at Forestview
September 13th 6:00pm — Tour the New Preserve in Gladwin County! – Come take a look at the newest preserve at Little Forks Conservancy. A staff member will show you the progress so far and what to look forward to in the coming years.
October 19th 5:00pm — Fall Color Hike at Forestview Natural Area- As the weather cools off, join us at Forestview to take in all the fall foliage.
Little Forks hopes the entire community will get out to the preserves for at least one of these hikes and finds something new to enjoy right outside of the city.
Little Forks’ Stewardship Coordinator, Sara, is excited to expand the workshop series she started last year as an AmeriCorps member.
“We had three workshops surrounding stewardship last summer and it was a success!” said Sara “I look forward to developing this program further in the future.”
This summer we will provide four workshops covering a variety of topics that were chosen based on a survey sent around to volunteers.
These workshops are free but space is limited; only 20 spots available at Office workshops