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 2016 goal was to collectively pull 5,000 pounds and raise essential funds for the fight against invasive species. We are happy to report that our goal was met and greatly exceeded!
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, 522 dedicated residents formed ten volunteer teams which helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 26,258 pounds (over 13 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.
$5,275.00 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.
Our impressive traveling trophy is passed annually to the team with the most bags of pulled garlic mustard and/or dame’s rocket, and this year the winner is the Riveredge Nature Center Team which pulled an impressive 6,840 pounds!
Team Leader, Phyllis McKenzie and nature center staff recruited 67 volunteers including the Center's Habitat Healers, Girl Scout Troop #40093 from Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts and local Grafton Kohl's Associates. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed being outdoors at the Nature Center which is located in Ozaukee County.
The traveling Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Trophy was awarded to Phyllis McKenzie and Matt Smith by Andy Holschbach (SEWISC Board President) and Mike Grisar (SEWISC Board Vice-President and Riveredge Nature Center Board Member) on August 1st.
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 2016 event. Remember, it's never to early to start planning for next year's Pull-A-Thon competition!