Spring has sprung, bringing us a new crop of trail riders!
Garlic Mustard, a real trouble-maker of a plant, is flowering in many areas of Lebanon. Be on the lookout for plants with 4 white petals
WHY concern about this plant?
Native to Europe where it has many insect predators and diseases, it is only found there in small colonies. Here, there are no insects that eat it and no disease to keep it in check. It invades forests: It disrupts forest ecosystems in several ways. It has chemicals that are toxic to soil microbes and can greatly reduce propagation of native plants. It can out-compete native plants and reduce biodiversity once it gets established.
It is a fierce competitor: A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds. It has no predators here. It is a biennial and its seeds can be viable for 10 years. Once established, it is a long-term project to reduce it. It is best to catch it early, before it turns into a long-term project.
WHAT can you do?
Learn to identify the plant (see link). Help with pulling on your property and along road-sides in your neighborhood.
Pull the plant and put it in trash bags: Be sure to pull from the base of the stalk and wiggle the plant so the entire white root comes up. Be sure bags are tightly closed and properly disposed of. Tell your neighbors and help organize socially distant community pulls (and tell us about them!) if you find larger colonies in your neighborhood.
Help pull on the Mascoma River Greenway and Northern Rail Trail!
For the next two weeks, the City will have signs describing Garlic Mustard and bags for disposing of the plants (no trash please!) at a couple of locations on each of these popular public paths. Please stop and pull when you can, bag the pulled plants, and leave the bag, securely closed, for the next volunteer. Thanks to the Rec & Parks Department and DPW for coordinating disposal of full bags of Garlic Mustard. Please help by moving only securely tied & full bags to the trailhead of the rail trail (near CCBA) or to the MRG parking lot at Slayton Hill/Mascoma St so they can be picked up. Email me if bags need replacing.
Report locations where you find Garlic Mustard (better yet, where you pull it!): there are many reporting apps these days:
With thanks to The Hanover Biodiversity Committee for permission to use their text and links.
Thanks and stay well,
Sarah Riley <email@example.com>
Lebanon Conservation Commission
Sunday, May 17th – Saturday, May 30th
Task: Pull the Garlic Mustard 2nd year growth
Drop off locations/Pick Up:
“Equal, accessible and resilient public space can promote civic health during a pandemic. Over the long term it will promote the health, welfare and equality of our cities for decades to come.”
The value of the MRG to Lebanon and surrounding communities is vibrantly evident during this time of pandemic. Whole families biking, parents with infants and toddlers in strollers, roller bladers, joggers, dog walkers, wild flower aficionados, and birders, all out enjoying the beautiful natural space and recreational opportunities offered by the Mascoma River Greenway.
Here are a few tips from Trail Finder as to keeping safe on public trails during this pandemic:
Stay safe and be well!
Thanks to volunteers Donn Cann and Bob Leach for the heavy-duty clean up of tires and other trash on the western end of the MRG . . . and to Recreation & Parks Facilities Manager, Doug McGrath, for hauling it all to the landfill.
“Throw away?” There is no such thing as “away.”
Snowy and cold yesterday – sunny and warm today. Bikers, runners, strollers, dog walkers, and this little guy on his scooter – everyone enjoying this beautiful Spring day.
Looking eastward under Hanover Street bridge toward the downtown Mall
Though it will be many months before the work is completed, it’s encouraging to see progress toward connecting the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail via the tunnel. The Mall parking area, that once formed the roof of the tunnel, has been removed. (See the plan for how it will eventually look.) There is a plan for major work to be done on the Hanover Street bridge next summer, which is likely to delay tunnel use, but step by step we are moving forward.
“Members of the Upper Valley Rugby Club complete the season at the MRG Pocket Park with mulching, raking, and general clean up. The UVRC has adopted the Pocket Park and its members are becoming quite knowledgeable about planting, fertilizing, mulching, and general plant maintenance. We couldn’t do it without them!” – Cindy Heath
On October 26, the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department organized a workday on the Mascoma River Greenway. Volunteers from the Valley Bible Church in White River Junction joined trail enthusiasts from Lebanon to help install five more benches along the MRG, bringing the total number to six. In addition, volunteers pulled weeds which were encroaching on the trail, applied preservative to the wooden railings and helped to anchor the umbrella sculpture which sits near the Mascoma River. Going forward, there is a hope that the City can recruit individuals and organizations to take responsibility to maintain a short section of the trail on a year-round basis. – Rainie Kelly