• 57°

Wayne National Forest Volunteer Days kicks off Friday

PEDRO — If your green thumb is itching for some additional spring work, then restoring and improving the plant and animal habitat at the Wayne National Forest might just be for you.

Starting April 17 and continuing through August, the Wayne National Forest Ironton District will again be sponsoring its Spring Volunteer Days for those interested in beautifying Ohio’s only national forest.

There will be a total of six volunteer days spread throughout the spring and summer.

“This year we have several exciting activities planned including pulling garlic mustard at Little Storms Creek Special Area, transplanting seedlings for pollinator gardens and native seed collecting,” Wayne National Forest Botanist Chad Kirschbaum said.

The 2009 volunteer event kicks off Friday with the pulling of Garlic Mustard at one of the most unique places in the forest — the Little Storms Creek Special Area. The Little Storms Creek Special Area is a wide floodplain located with wildflowers that are currently in bloom.

While being introduced as a culinary herb in the 19th century, Garlic Mustard is now considered an invasive species in much of North America.

Unlike most invasive plants, once Garlic Mustard has an introduction into a new location, it persists and spreads without haste. In many areas, Garlic Mustard has become the dominant under-story species in woodland and flood plain environments, where eradication is difficult.

Kirschbaum added that for protection volunteers should dress for the outdoors by wearing pants, gloves, sturdy boots and long sleeves. He also suggested bringing a snack or lunch.

Interested volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at the Ranger Station located at 6518 SR 93 in Pedro.

2009 Spring Volunteer Days schedule:

April 17: Garlic Mustard pull party at Little Storms Creek Special Area.

May 22: Garlic Mustard pull party at Little Storms Creek Special Area.

June 5: Native plant plotting for butterfly garden at office.

June 26: Native plant plotting for butterfly garden at office.

July 24: Siltgrass control and seed collecting at Lake Vesuvius Recreational Area.

August 21: Native seed collecting.