Congratulations to the 2021 Champion Pull-A-Thon Team!
Our Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon is an annual fundraiser event, where we encourage folks throughout southeastern Wisconsin to protect the woodlands of their neighborhoods by pulling this invasive plant. Our 2021 goal was to collectively pull 20,000 pounds and raise essential funds for the fight against invasive species. We fell a little short of our goal, but we hope that is due to a reduction of garlic mustard in our region due to the efforts over the past 9 years!
The pull-a-thon is a competition, a fundraiser, and a way for people to join together and have a positive impact on their environment. Our natural areas will only avoid damage from invasives with a long-term sustained commitment to invasives control.
This year, 485 dedicated residents formed 13 volunteer teams which helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 17,010 pounds (over 8 tons) of garlic mustard and dame's rocket in our natural areas! Volunteers recruited friends, family and colleagues to sponsor their pulling efforts. This is a fun way to make a real difference in the protection of the wild areas that we love.
$3,965 in pledged contributions was collectively raised this year by team members and shared between SEWISC and the event partners. These funds will be used for adult and youth invasive species education, prevention and control in southeastern Wisconsin.
The Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Trophy is a team-to-team award for outstanding dedicated efforts to control invasive species in southeastern Wisconsin. Each year, the team who pulls the hardest to manage invasive species and educate the public wins the trophy which traditionally travels throughout our eight-county region.
This year, the Eagle Nature Trail Team pulled themselves to the top of the 2021 Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon competition. Led by Jean Weedman, the team recorded the highest number of volunteers (181!) and recruited a whopping $3,250 in donations while pulling the target plants in their 8 acre management area. Eagle Nature Trail has also surpassed all teams in donations for the past 8 competitions; while pulling 12,277 pounds they have raised a total of $13,432.00, or an average of $1,679 annually.
Peter Dargatz, Team Leader of our 2020 Champion Mr. Dargatz's Nature Kindergarten Team, graciously passed the traveling trophy to Eagle Nature Trail Team Leader Jean Weedman during a ceremony officiated by SEWISC Board President, John Lunz. The Pull-A-Thon trophy will be proudly displayed by Eagle Nature Trail throughout the year.
Many thanks to all of you who got outdoors, pulled garlic mustard, told your neighbors about this invasive plant, and reported your progress as part of the 2021 event. And thank you to all you donated to your favorite 2021 Teams! Remember, it's never to early to start planning for next year's Pull-A-Thon competition - Plan to JOIN US!