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December 01, 2020

The National Park Service and Weed Wrangle Celebrate Ongoing Collaboration

For the Invasive Plant Management Teams of the National Park Service, 2020 marks twenty years of progress in tackling the threat of invasive species in its parks. Weed Wrangle®, a coordinated effort to eradicate invasive plants in public parks and natural areas funded by The Garden Club of America’s Partners for Plants program, is proud to be collaborating with the National Park Service (NPS) in this effort. Terri Hogan, the National Park Service Invasive Program Manager says, “The energy of Weed Wrangle and its links to communities throughout America makes Weed Wrangle a perfect partner.”

In 2015, The Garden Club of Nashville, a member club of The Garden Club of America, coordinated the efforts of local parks and green spaces in Nashville to have a one-day, city-wide education and eradication event named Weed Wrangle. The idea spread and years later Weed Wrangle is in multiple states and growing “like a weed.” Weed Wrangle projects are organized, at the core, by individual Garden Club of America clubs, but participation is beginning to come from additional organizations across the county. The mission, however, remains the same—to establish partnerships that connect volunteers and public lands for the purpose of education and eradication of invasive and non-native species with the planned restoration of native plant communities

On September 26, 2019, The Palmetto Garden Club of South Carolina was an enthusiastic partner on a Weed Wrangle at Congaree National Park. The project focused on a road corridor where Perilla frutescans, or beefsteak plant, was spreading into natural areas of the park. Beefsteak threatens native understory plants and can be toxic to cattle. As these are annual plants, it is critical to remove them before seed is set. The Palmetto Garden Club along with NPS’s Southeast Coast Invasive Plant Management Team, South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council, park staff, and volunteers hand pulled 200 pounds of beefsteak from Congaree National Park.

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in the national parks, the Invasive Plant Management Teams look forward to joining forces with Weed Wrangle to hold events throughout the NPS to reduce the threat posed by invasive species and to encourage the replanting of native plants.


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