We Have Met the Enemy, and it is Garlic Mustard!

Don’t Give Up the Pick!

The Garlic Mustard Pull Challenge

The city of Green near Akron, Ohio has issued us a challenge as to which community can pull the most garlic mustard in a day! We have accepted the challenge, but need your help and lots of volunteers.

There is such a huge problem with invasive wildflower garlic mustard in Cooper’s Woods. The best way to get rid of it is to hand pull it before it goes to seed. It pulls easily just after a spring rain!

Brendan Morgan of EnviroScience will be here Saturday, May 8th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cooper’s Woods parking lot to arm us with strong garbage bags. Come for whatever time you are available. Volunteers will head into the woods after an educational session on what garlic mustard looks like and how to pull it. We will fill our bags, take them back to the parking lot for weighing before dumping into a dumpster for removal so that seeds are removed from the site. After the bag is empty, grab some water and return to the woods to refill your bag. Southgate park in the city of Green is larger at 200 acres, but the density of garlic mustard is much higher in our 30-acre Coopers Woods, so with enough helping hands we could win this. Weight will be calculated as total pounds pulled and pounds per volunteer hour. The grand prize for our community winning this friendly competition is bragging rights and a sense of accomplishment.

Bring garden gloves to wear if you can. Some folks have had a rare allergic reaction to the strong garlic scented oils in the plant. We will have some garden gloves for those who need them still. We will also have cold drinking water in a large cooler container-please bring your own water bottle for a refill. Or you may win a water bottle that The Put-in-Bay Gazette is having made for this event. All you have to do is pull at least two bags of garlic mustard to win the water bottle!

And remember you can take some garlic mustard home to eat-great in chip dip, pasta, salads, etc. Just do not take it home to plant!


Thanks to our wonderful community we have loads of prize donations. Free event t-shirts will be given to the first twenty-five people who pull at least two full bags. Also anyone pulling two full bags will receive an event water bottle from The Put-in-Bay Gazette. There will be several categories of prizes and a prize for each person pulling at least two bags of garlic mustard. There will be grand prizes for those pulling the most that day! Prizes include certificates from the Reel Bar, Cameo Pizza, The Goat, the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society, The Forge and the Put-in-Bay Gazette.

How to take part!

Register by emailing leiconservancy@gmail.com or by texting Lisa Brohl at 419-366-2087. Walk ins welcome, but registering will help us in planning for prizes.

Working to Keep Cooper’s Woods Healthy

We are working with EnviroScience to remove invasive plants/trees from our Cooper’s Woods Preserve with funding from the Conservation Fund. They will be removing another invasive species, Amur honeysuckle, later this year by cutting and applying herbicide to the base. You can see their work from last fall with the piles of the cut brush left behind. This garlic mustard challenge and the Earth Day Challenge are all part of controlling the invasive plants so we can have a healthier Cooper’s Woods for the future with native plants and trees that support native wildlife!


The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.

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