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 2017 goal was to collectively pull 10,000 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, 842 dedicated residents formed 12 volunteer teams which helped to raise funds and awareness while controlling 36,585 pounds (over 18 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.
$1,900 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 River Revitalization Foundation Team which pulled an impressive 11,040 pounds!
Team Leader, Joanna Demas worked hard to recruit volunteers from numerous sources including FedEx, MMSD, Operation Dream, Lakefront Brewery, Cream City Conservation, Colectivo Coffee, RRF's Earn and Learn, FORB volunteers, Riverview Dorms, Cambridge Commons, Gordon Brothers Accuval, Johnson Control and City Year. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed protecting the seven natural areas managed by the Foundation.
The traveling Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon Trophy was passed to Joanna Demas (River Revitalization Foundation Land Manager) by Phyllis Mckenzie who represented our 2016 winning team, Riveredge Nature Center. Mike Grisar (SEWISC Board Vice-President) officiated the ceremony on August 2, 2017. Stop by the River Revitalization Foundation headquarters on N Riverboat Road in Milwaukee to admire the trophy over the next 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 2017 event. Remember, it's never to early to start planning for next year's Pull-A-Thon competition - JOIN US!