Garlic Mustard - Be Gone!

No, it’s not a disgusting sounding condiment, but Garlic Mustard, Alliaria Petiolate is a fast-growing plant that produces small white flowers.  It’s considered an invasive species, so if there’s an opportunity to remove them and maintain Bolingbrook’s cleanliness and beauty, the Natural Resources Team at Bolingbrook Park District is all over it.

In an effort to remove this from our natural areas, the team participated in the annual DuPage Country River Sweep, which is an event put together by The Conservation Foundation.  Garlic Mustard removal is a key component of the river sweep.  Volunteers spent a day removing garbage, debris, and invasive species from DuPage County streams to keep them clean. A section by Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm is always part of it.  Now in its 30th year, they have had more than 9,000 volunteers and removed nearly 300 tons of garbage. This years’ sweep was  on Saturday, May 15 from 9:00 am-noon.  

So, why is this plant removed? Due to the fast growth of Garlic Mustard, it shades out other plants, not allowing them to grow or germinate. The result, if not treated, can lead to the plant taking over an entire woodland. So it certainly takes more than one day to remove it. In 2021, Bolingbrook Park District will be hosting four volunteer days to help clean up the Hidden Oaks Conservation Area. The next being on June 5 from 9:00-11:00 am at Indian Boundary Park. You can pre-register for free at www.bolingbrookparks.org/volunteer.  The Volunteer Day on June 10 will be solely dedicated to clearing Garlic Mustard and other invasive plant species.

"The DuPage River Sweep and other volunteer days are a great opportunity to educate the community and get people involved in the restoration and preservation of our natural landscapes,” said Dan Finn, natural resources, horticulture, and turf manager.  “Whether it be collecting garbage or removing an invasive plant species like garlic mustard, these work days can have a significant positive impact on the ecosystem by creating the space and proper habitat for the native flora and fauna to thrive.”

For more information about volunteer days or about anything natural- resources-related, please contact Dan Finn at (630) 783-6563 or dfinn@bolingbrookparks.org.