SAHC is partnering with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Roan Mountain State Park, and the Cherokee National Forest to remove invasive garlic mustard from the Park and heavily trafficked highways around Carver’s Gap and SAHC conservation properties in the Highlands of Roan. Plucking out the pesky invaders when they’re young and tender isn’t hard work, but it does take a lot of hands!
Location: Meet at the Conference Center Parking Lot – Roan Mountain State Park in Roan Mountain, TN
Date: Friday, April 29th
Start time: 9:30 am
Food/Drinks: Please bring your own snacks, lunch, and bottled water. Lunch is not provided. Water and light snacks are available from the Conference Center vending machines.
Equipment/Precautions: Work gloves and trash bags will be provided. Feel free to bring personal gloves or a trowel. Pulling garlic mustard is usually easy, but a trowel can be helpful for compacted roadside soil and stubborn roots.
You will need a hat and/or sunscreen, long pants, sturdy shoes, lunch, water, a warm layer for high elevation hiking, and rain gear. If you are allergic to poison ivy, consider wearing long sleeves and pants as a precaution.
It may be difficult to return to your car while we are working, so you may want a bag to keep your items with you throughout the day.
Some work sites are very steep. Please let me know before the workday if you prefer to work on flatter terrain or have medical conditions. First aid kits will be on site.
Contact info: For more info or questions, contact SAHC’s Roan Stewardship Director Marquette Crockett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.253.0095 ext 210.
9:30 am to 9:45 am – Introduction, safety talk, etc. Volunteers will be briefed, divided into groups, and dispersed across the Park and along public roadsides to pull garlic mustard. There will need to be some shuttling and driving of personal vehicles to make this happen.
9:45 am-1:00 pm – Pulling and bagging up garlic mustard!
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm– Lunch at the Conference Center and our official “weigh-in.
What is Garlic Mustard?
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive, non-native plant, which has infested many parts of the Southern Appalachian region. Because it has few natural enemies in North America, it is capable of out-competing native plants by depriving them of sunlight, moisture, and space. Garlic mustard is a biennial plant, meaning it has a two-year life cycle. In its first year, it develops kidney-shaped leaves that grow close to the ground in what is called a basal rosette; the leaves smell like garlic when crushed. In their second year, the plants rapidly grow upward and develop small white flowers. The flowers are soon replaced by slender seed pods, which are capable of spreading hundreds of seeds once they mature. Garlic mustard is a hardy plant. If you pull the plant and leave it on the ground, it may re-root or have enough energy stored in its taproot to produce viable seed after being pulled. Most compost piles aren’t maintained in a way that gets hot enough to kill the seed, which means you could end up spreading garlic mustard with your compost (The Stewardship Network). Removing garlic mustard from thoroughfares such as Roan Mountain State Park and public roadsides is crucial to controlling the establishment and spread of this invasive species in our area.