Volunteers yank garlic mustard that threatens native vegetation
Denielle Cowley, Environmental Services
Vancouver, WA – A cadre of dedicated volunteers last Saturday pulled 129 bags of garlic mustard, an invasive species that displaces native vegetation in the Northwest.
Volunteers planted native trees and removed garlic mustard along Salmon Creek as part of the 15th annual Earth Day Celebration sponsored by Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam and Clark County Environmental Services.
More than 60 volunteers removed 3,870 pounds of garlic mustard, a highly prolific plant that insects, deer and other wildlife do not eat. It often is found in shaded areas but can flourish in bright sunlight as well.
Garlic mustard is capable of self-pollination and can produce more than 60,000 seeds per square meter. It also releases chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants and fungi needed for healthy tree growth.
For these reasons, garlic mustard can quickly displace native flora and destroy botanical diversity.
The state classifies garlic mustard as a Class A weed, which means it is not widespread across Washington. State law requires that garlic mustard be eradicated.
“Make no mistake about it, garlic mustard is a threat to Clark County’s environment,” said Don Benton, Environmental Services director. “We are grateful for these volunteers and their work to prevent this noxious weed from doing even more damage to our community.”
For more information on controlling noxious weeds, visit the county’s website, www.clark.wa.gov/weed.