Community invited to Garlic Mustard Pull at Portman Nature Preserve

Youngsters help gather garlic mustard at a community pull at one of Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy’s preserves.

    MATTAWAN - On Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) board, staff and volunteers will be hosting a community garlic mustard pull at the Portman Nature Preserve. Families and community groups are encouraged to join SWMLC and Mattawan Schools students as they work to help eradicate this tenacious invasive species from the Portman Nature Preserve.
    Garlic mustard can be commonly found in woodland habitats in North America, and can advance across the forest floor at a rate of 20 feet per year.  Garlic mustard is so aggressive that it generally causes very low species diversity in these environments.
    Eliminating or at least reducing the amount of garlic mustard at Portman Nature Preserve will help to ensure that the preserve will continue to host an incredible biodiverse group of plants and animals, some of which are very rare and whose survival are threatened by external causes such as invasive species. Portman is currently home to at least 450 species of plants, and over 100 species of birds that benefit from the tremendous plant biodiversity.
    Located near Mattawan and Paw Paw, in Almena and Antwerp Townships, Portman Nature Preserve boasts 189 acres of high-quality prairie fen, wetland, savanna and woodland habitats with 2-1/2 miles of hiking trails, and is blessed with water from three lakes, a creek, and hundreds of springs.
    In addition to its rare habitats and species, the Portman Preserve forms part of the headwaters of the Paw Paw River, making it essential to maintaining clean, abundant water for the Paw Paw River watershed, the broader region, and Lake Michigan.    
    Since its opening, this almost 200-acre nature preserve has been enjoyed by Mattawan Schools students, serving as an outdoor classroom and laboratory.
    “We are thrilled that Portman Nature Preserve is truly being appreciated and utilized as a community forest, and is rapidly becoming an essential part of the community,” emphasized SWMLC Conservation and Stewardship Director Nate Fuller.
    Join SWMLC volunteers and Mattawan students on Saturday, June 1 and see how many bags of garlic mustard your crew can pull! Every bag of garlic mustard pulled helps restore the promise of thriving native southwest Michigan woodland species at Portman Nature Preserve.
    To learn more about the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and the Portman Nature Preserve, visit the SWMLC website at www.swmlc.org or SWMLC’s Facebook page.

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
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