Join the Pledge to Pull at Crosby Park! [FULL]

Submitted by srich on Tue, Mar 5 - 5:16 PM

Individuals and families alike enjoy participating in the Pledge to Pull — both the training/kickoff and the ability to return to the area and make a difference on their own time. On kickoff night, FMR staff pass around a sheet to collect the email addresses of individuals interested in buddying up and returning to the ephemeral patch together.

Crosby's spring ephemeral patch is home to bloodroot (top) and trout lily (below). Volunteers remove the invasive species garlic mustard, which surrounds the young trout lily above, during the kickoff then return to tend the area on their own time.

Photo: Karen Solas (who removed the garlic mustard) -- see more at

Note: This event has reached capacity. Please consider the May 22nd training and kickoff

Enjoy the beauty of early spring at a riverside park while helping protect native plants from an invasive species.

Nestled at the bottom of the gorge at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, Crosby Farm Park is a natural oasis in the heart of the city. The area volunteers will be working in is home to a striking array of spring wildflowers native to Minnesota — Dutchman's breeches, trout lily, and Jack-in-the-pulpit to name a few — all in need of volunteer assistance.

After a brief introduction to this hidden gem and quick training, event participants will help protect these spring ephemerals and other important species by removing the extremely invasive plant known as garlic mustard.

On the upside, although a serious threat, garlic mustard is not only easy to identify but quick to pull by hand. These characteristics make removal of this invasive species the perfect restoration activity for volunteers who want to work independently — to continue to improve wildlife habitat and the health of their watershed after the event, at times most convenient for them. Thanks to these volunteer efforts, we've been able to see slow but steady improvement in the ephemeral patch, and have even expanded the volunteer restoration work-areas to include the Crosby lakeshore!

We ask that all volunteers participating in this event sign a Pledge to Pull, promising to remove garlic mustard in this area of Crosby Park for a total of eight hours** in the weeks following this training and evening pull. Volunteers will receive a small card certifying their participation in the training and granting permission to independently perform this volunteer service in this special area, part of the City of St. Paul park system and the Mississippi National Park. If you're not comfortable with this commitment, we fully understand and encourage you to consider the garlic mustard removal at Pine Bend the following evening instead, for which the pledge is optional, or to consider any other of our regular two-hour events. 

Note: All volunteers who contribute 20 hours or more through any and all FMR volunteer events and opportunities within a calendar year earn a Friends of the Mississippi River SuperVolunteer t-shirt and special advance invitations to select events.


Ready to register?

This event has reached capacity and registration is no longer being taken. Please consider signing up for the May 22nd kickoff and training instead.

To receive event notices and river news in your Inbox, sign up for our twice-a-month e-newsletter by adding your email to the periwinkle box above right.


More information

FMR's Flickr site features photos of both the ephemerals at Crosby as well as the volunteers who helped protect them in 2011 and 2012.

Read this volunteer's beautifully written and descriptive blog entry on a previous pledge-to-pull training and kickoff at Crosby.

This event is part of the Gorge Stewards program,which actively engages citizens throughout the Twin Cities in the stewardship of the national treasure that is the Mississippi River Gorge.

** The pledge requirement is an additional six hours beyond the event. If you bring someone with you, you can count their hours as well. For example, if you participate in the 2-hour training and removal session, then bring your partner plus a friend for a 2-hour session that you schedule yourself, that totals 8 hours: 2 for the training, plus 6 hours of work from the follow-up, independent session! ... If you decide to sign up for both the May 15th and May 22nd events, that's 4 hours, leaving you with just 4 more hours to complete the pledge. 

Most volunteers complete their pledged time in May but when the plants are late to come out, volunteers often end up pulling into mid-June or so. Pulling technique and details will be covered in training(s).