Thursday, May 6, 2010
I was riding on a stretch of the Salt Creek Trail, when I saw a couple people pulling up plants.
I asked them what they were doing. They were pulling up garlic mustard. I talked to them a bit. One of the guys said that the plant was brought over from Europe a while back, and then sort of went all crazy and stuff (my words, not his).
They mentioned they were volunteering under the auspices of the Cook County Forest Preserve, and also mentioned a website Restoringnature.org -- it's part of the Des Plaines River Valley Restoration Project.
You can volunteer to help at the website. As I continued to ride, I saw TONS and TONS of garlic mustard plants.
It made me think of kudzu, and other species introduced by people into natural environments, often resulting in unexpected consequences.
I don't know, it seems that nature does what nature does, and when people are dumb enough to introduce something into an ecosphere, maybe they're doing the same thing as a bird dropping seeds into an unfamiliar forest. Nature is all about species waxing and waning, landscapes changing, etc.
Part of the mission of this organization is to keep biodiversity, but also to restore wildflowers that have lived in the area. Is it worthwhile? Is it a losing battle? A compelling case for volunteering is made here.
So, should I volunteer? Should you?
Hey, I like garlic and I like mustard.