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Volunteers to ’pull together’ to help eradicate weeds

Posted 3/24/2009

Volunteers are invited to join forces with the Truckee Meadows Weed Coordinating Group when it makes its annual assault on weeds growing in area parks.

Group chairman Sue Donaldson of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension said that from 9-11 a.m. May 2 weed pullers will be digging up rosettes — those pesky thistles that are covered with unpleasant, skin-puncturing spines. Nobody likes them.

"They ruin our parks and make it hard for fishermen and others to access the river," Donaldson said. "Plus the seeds travel downstream to infest other sites."

Volunteers can meet at Oxbow Park, the Truckee River near Verdi or at the Swan Lake Nature Study Area. Volunteers should bring a hat, a sharp, pointed shovel, gloves, sunscreen and water.

The weed group’s annual "Dig It Event" goes after the weeds early in the season so they are easier to remove, Donaldson said.

"By digging out about 2 inches off the top of the root of the rosettes in the spring when they’re small, we’ve killed the plants without needing to use herbicides," Donaldson said. "Digging avoids the use of herbicides along the river, so we don’t have to worry about contaminating water or harming desirable plants."

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Over the years hundreds of volunteers have been trained by Cooperative Extension personnel to spot, control and eradicate noxious weeds.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Who: Truckee Meadows Weed Coordinating Group and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
  • What: Annual Pulling Together: Truckee Meadows Dig-it Event, removing weeds from local parks
  • When: 9 - 11 a.m., May 2
  • Where:
  • Oxbow Park:(take West Second Street to Dickerson, which ends at the park; meet in parking lot)
  • Truckee River in Verdi: take Interstate 80 west to exit 5; continue on Old Hwy 40; turn left on Summerset Drive and proceed to the corner of River Crest Dr.; meet at the corner)
  • Swan Lake Nature Study Area:(meet at 8:30 a.m. at the McDonalds parking lot visible from the Hwy 395 Lemmon Valley exit)
  • Details: For park and river sites: e-mail Sue Donaldson or call her at 856-8401
  • For Swan Lake: Becky Stock, 851-5180 Or, fill out the form.

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