Reflection: Natural Environment and Garlic Mustard Essay

Submitted By settermagic
Words: 1087
Pages: 5

Date Completed: April 21, 2013
Removal of Garlic Mustard
On April 26, 2014 my two guy friends and I went to KC Wildlands. When we arrived we were told that we were going to be pulling garlic mustard. They had introduced the plant a few years ago but it has thrived so well in the environment that it is now becoming a problem. Before we got started we were given some gloves and then they showed us what the garlic mustard looked like so we could find it easily and remove it. They said that when we removed the garlic mustard we need to try to make sure to get the whole plant, roots and everything, in the bag. If any part of the plant was left on the ground it would be able to reproduce and grow again. We split up into groups and started walking through the woods looking for the garlic mustard seed. Towards the beginning we did not find very much, probably since we were on a hill and there was a lot of runoff. It was also raining which made it difficult to be outside. After about an hour of pulling garlic mustard, we went off into a different area and went to find other garlic mustard but saw the other plants and their beauty. After a while of tired of being cold and wet pulling the garlic mustard we took a walk on one of the trails to explore and we found a really cool vine that we started to swing on which was a nice break. We decided to tough it out and be heroes for nature and pull some more garlic mustard. At 12 o’clock we returned to where we started, gave them the bags of garlic mustard we pulled, and left. At first I did not know what to expect of the volunteer activity that I had signed up for. I loved that it was outdoors but was a little disappointed that it was wet and rainy, but I was still excited to go and explore in nature. It was a Saturday morning and I wasn’t really looking forward to getting up to be there by 9 o’clock till noon, I would rather have been sleeping. When I first started the project I was in a terrible mood because it was raining constantly and I hate rain and hate being wet. It was my fault though because I could have done it earlier or created my own service project. After it stopped raining I was in a better mood because I realized that I needed to make the most out of the time I was going to spend there and not sulk about being irresponsible. Over time my mood became better because I had fun walking around in the woods even though I was finding garlic mustard and pulling it from the ground. One thing I discovered is that even though I am comfortable living in the city and prefer it, I definitely can tough it out in the woods. Being out in the woods is a good thing to do once in a while, it helped me to clear my thoughts of all the worries that have accumulated over this semester. But it was not only helpful for myself, but also for the Kansas City community because we were helping the environment which was a park where people could go to hike trails or rider their bikes. Plus I got to learn how I was a leader because when we got in patches of the wood that were slightly more rugged or thorny, I would go to those places and pull the garlic mustard so the rest of the people in my group would not have to go and then potentially hurt themselves. Overall, this experience helped me learn about myself and gave me an opportunity to do a different type of service where all I would do is help people specifically. I loved being able to provide service for the environment instead. One thing we learned at the beginning of the year in lecture was biodiversity and how it affected an ecosystem. In lab we also got to see how this played out when we created our own ecosystems and watched how they changed over a 6 week…