Students roll up their sleeves looking for garlic mustard

Raven Smith, Josh Watt, Kamil Chyc-Teklar, and Laiken Drugherty, students at Delhi District Secondary School, show off the large collection of garlic mustard that they removed from the Delhi Wetland Nature Reserve. Ashley Taylor/Delhi News Record

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Students from Delhi District Secondary School spent their class time on June 5 and 6 at the Delhi Wetland Nature Reserve owned by the Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT). Their time was spent removing garlic mustard, an invasive species found in many areas of Ontario.

Multiple classes went over the two days to participate in the clean-up.

Kristyn Richardson, the program co-ordinator for LPBLT, was on site to see the hard work the students were putting in.

“It’s been taking over slowly, and it can produce for up to 30 years,” Richardson said about the invasive plant. “What the kids have been doing is trying to take a stab at what’s here. We’ll continue doing this every year so that hopefully one day we can eradicate it and we can let things like the trilliums take over again.”

Garlic mustard can easily invade many different types of land and is commonly known for disrupting the growth of trilliums.

There were about 50 students participating each day, and each student pulled at least one garbage bag full of the plant.

Mackenzie Dean, a Grade 10 student at Delhi, was one of the many students participating.

“We thought that it’d be a really fun school trip to go and clean it all up. We’ve done things like this before,” said Dean. “Last year we came here and cleaned up a bunch of garbage. We think it’s a really nice area and we want to make a difference.”

Lenora Sawyer, a teacher at DDSS, was one of the co-ordinators of the clean-up.

“We’ve been partnered with the Long Point Basin Land Trust for a few years,” said Sawyer. “It’s a good activity for a class because it’s in their community and they kind of feel a responsibility toward it. They wanted to do something to give back.”

Classes that went to the clean-up were biology, environmental science, and general science. The classes study climate change and other topics that are related to the environment.

 

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