More than 300 volunteers pulled 5,100 pounds of an invasive “garlic mustard” plant as part of a competitive nine-week effort to reduce the weeds at nature preserves.
The Buffalo Audubon’s Beaver Meadow Nature Center in North Java won for “harnessing the most volunteer power” with 52 volunteers pulling more than 2,394 pounds of the plant, said a press release Monday.
Civic groups, scouts, schools, master gardeners and families also worked at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga and Western New York Land Conservancy’s Kenneglenn Preserve in Wales.
During a one-day “Super-Pull” volunteers collected 277 pounds in three hours at the Lewiston Plateau Habitat Area.
The plant, introduced in North America for cooking, escaped from gardens into forests where it crowds out native wildflowers. “It is gratifying to see the change in the preserves now that so much garlic mustard has been removed,” said Kathleen McCormick, Land Conservancy stewardship director by press release.
Winning teams, announced Monday, were “Riptide Plus,” of Buffalo, with 168.75 pounds, at Reinstein Woods; “Olivia’s Mustard,” of Lancaster, with 1,113 pounds at Beaver Meadow; Boy Scout Troop 513, of East Aurora, with 1,016 pounds at Kenneglenn Preserve; and Unicorn Troop, of Kenmore, with 151.5 pounds, at Lewiston Plateau Habitat.