Upper Valley Girl Scouts pulled off a successful botanical intervention when they rallied with UVLT staff and volunteers, the Hanover Conservancy, and the Hanover Biodiversity Committee to remove 30 large trash bags of garlic mustard from Buck Road and the Mink Brook Nature Preserve last weekend. Photo album here.
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herb that has spread throughout much of the United States that has become one of the worst invaders of northeastern forests. Garlic mustard can grow almost anywhere, but is most aggressive in rich, moist, shady locations where it forms dense stands. Garlic mustard is one of very few non-native plants to be able to successfully invade forest understories. Researchers have found that garlic mustard releases chemicals that hinder the growth of other plant species. Thus the plant’s spread will profoundly disrupt forest health and biodiversity.
For seven years, UVLT has been working with others to remove garlic mustard from our property on Buck Road and within the Mink Brook corridor. The May 9th gathering mobilized more volunteers on site than ever before, and sets the stage for ongoing youth engagement and intervention on behalf of healthy forests.