Forest Hill Park offers garlic mustard-related events for spring, beginning April 26
Spring is finally here, which means garlic mustard is in full bloom at Forest Hill Park. Because of the late start to the spring season, the garlic mustard plant is just now popping up. An invasive species that compromises and overwhelms our native biological communities, garlic mustard should be pulled up. It can then be transformed into edible dishes. Pesto is the most well-known recipe made from the plant.
Garlic mustard negatively affects both flora and fauna, including the native cut-leaf toothwort and native West Virginia White butterfly.
To help identify the plant, download the document titled “An Early Spring Nature Walk” from the East Cleveland Parks Association website at www.ECPAohio.org. Hiking through the Forest Hill Park will take you past multiple stands of garlic mustard. It is easy to identify, as it smells and tastes like garlic. If you pick it and choose not to take it with you, leave it in piles for park caretakers to dispose of properly.
Bring a friend and join in a group garlic mustard pull, scheduled for the following dates and Forest Hill Park locations:
April 26, 1:30 p.m. - Garlic mustard pull and Great Meadow cleanup: Meet in Cleveland Heights parking lot at the top of the hill, off Forest Hill Boulevard. Bring gloves. Trash bags will be provided. The group will pull garlic mustard around the north and south sides of the Great Meadow.
May 3, 1:30 p.m. - Garlic mustard pull and Great Meadow cleanup. (Same meeting place and activities as April 26 event.)
May 10, 1:30 p.m. - Garlic mustard pull and trail cleanup, north trail and woods/meadow interface in Cleveland Heights. Participants should park at the north end of the Community Center parking lot. The group will pull garlic mustard and clean up the hiking trails. Bring gloves. Trash bags will be provided.
Elsa Johnson received a Master's of Science in Landscape Architecture with Honors in 1985 from the Ohio State University. She is an artist, nature photographer and poet.