Friday, July 29, 2011

Volunteers needed to pull knapweed at McLain State Park July 30

Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant that should be pulled before its seeds allow it to spread. Volunteers are needed to pull it at McLain State Park Saturday, July 30. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

By Janet Marr, botanist

HANCOCK -- McLain State Park needs your help in pulling spotted knapweed, the Copper Country's most "popular" invasive plant species! The Park recently received funding from the UP Resource Conservation and Development Council for spotted knapweed mapping, control/removal, and restoration in this popular Lake Superior lakeshore park. The mapping phase has been completed, and two areas have been set aside for volunteers to help in removal efforts.

You are invited to join a knapweed pull beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 30, at McLain State Park, near the bathing beach. Help as long as you care to stay.

The Park is part-way (more or less) between Calumet and Hancock on the lake side of M-203. Drive into the Park and tell folks at the park entrance that you're a knapweed- pulling volunteer and you will not need to pay to enter the Park); hang a left and drive down to the end of the road (where the bathing beach is); park at the far end of the parking area to the left. It's only about a one- or two-minute walk to the pulling site. In case you're not able to get there right at 9 a.m., the area to be pulled is to the left (west) of the swimming beach near the metal walls lining the canal.

Bring the following: garden gloves if you have a favorite pair (we'll have dollar store specials if you need a pair). Spotted knapweed has a substance that is an irritant so gloves, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants should be worn. You might want to bring water and a hat/sunscreen, if it's a toasty/sunny day. Jumping in the Lake is always an option to cool off!

By the way, pulling knapweed out of the sands of McLain is sooooo easy compared to many other local sites with more compacted soils. You won't be able to stop pulling!

Tools: we'll have an assortment of tools you may borrow (pulling works fine on many plants, but others will need a little nudge with a tool before pulling). Feel free to bring your favorite knapweed tackling tool as well. The smaller the blade the better (that'll help assure less disturbance to the ground and exposure of seeds from the seedbank).

If you know others who may be interested in joining in the fun, please let them know the details.

For more information call Janet Marr at 337-5529 or email her at

*Click here for more photos of spotted knapweed.

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