Come help pick a peck of pickled pods (invasive black swallow-wort that is). Learn how to identify the plant and techniques for controlling the spread of this monarch butterfly killer on church property … and in your own yards!
The dates will either be Monday Aug 2 between 10am and noon
or Friday Aug 6 between 3:30 and 5:30.
Respond to Elaine via email RSVP@firstparish.info by Saturday July 31 to say which is your preference.
We will work on Monday Aug 2 10am unless more people can make Friday Aug 6. Bring water, sun and bug protection, and any tools you have (clippers, trowels, digging pitchfork)
Even if you can’t attend you can still help by picking pods you see at any time – just throw them in black plastic and into the garbage for incineration, not yard waste. The DPW has “Invasive Weeds” stickers to place on large bags of invasive material.
Why is this work important? Black swallow-wort:
- kills monarchs (https://drive.google.com/
file/d/1bGFyx20R_yzAvZt9d2_ 6okdl6eES6S1Y/view )
- spreads randomly on the wind in August/September
- can cover large swaths of plants and shrubs (see second pic): https://www.inaturalist.org/
Knowing this, two church members spent several hours last week collecting black swallow-wort (BSW) seed pods and some plant material, filling two construction bags from just the area between the church parking lot and library lot. They issued a call for help, since many plants and pods remain.
This BSW work is time sensitive because pods need to be collected before they burst, spewing seeds to the wind and more church property. That means now, in the next week or so. Picking pods will prevent spread. Clipping near the base will weaken roots without simulating new root growth. And digging to loosen the soil and pulling out roots is a more permanent solution. So we hope some hardy souls capable of digging up black swallow-wort will have time, because this particular plant rises again zombie-like in the spring to form new seed pods unless it’s removed by the roots.
Other ways to help – adopt your own yard:
Take the Survey–Join in Arlington-MA Invasives ArMI efforts:
No commitment beyond your own backyard …