August 17, 2022

Volunteers removed Garlic Mustard from City Creek Canyon

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On June 26, Save Our Canyons teamed up with Nicole Smeeding, Watershed Special Projects Coordinator, from Salt Lake Public Utilities (SLPU) to host a volunteer-based weed pull up City Creek Canyon. The weed we targeted is garlic mustard which is invasive in Utah and the Intermountain west. This weed chokes out surrounding plant populations and is notorious for taking over the forest floor. At our event, 15 volunteers spent about four hours removing and bagging this noxious plant from a severely affected area. We had to mechanically remove the plant as it was growing along the river and pesticide application would have been detrimental to the riparian habitat - this is why volunteers are so important!

By the end of the day, SLPU was able to haul off 44 large trash bags full of garlic mustard. The affected area looked remarkably better after the combined efforts of our volunteers and the public utilities team. We appreciate Nicole for working with us to coordinate this event. In the future, we hope to continue to support their efforts to eradicate this invasive plant and others from our canyons. 

Recruiting community involvement is always essential to make these efforts possible. We always value feedback on how these experiences land for our volunteers. Alyssa Sutton, who attended the garlic pull event, shared with us how it impacted her. “It helped me feel more hopeful for the future,” she said, “getting to meet other people who care about the environment [in Utah] staying healthy and beautiful.” SOC is grateful to all those who take time out of their week to attend or volunteer at any of the events we host.

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