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

Submitted by srich on Mon, Feb 24 - 2:48 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



Sorry! This event has reached capcity and neither registration nor a waiting list are being taken. Please consider signing up for another upcoming volunteer event on the FMR calendar.



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 Pullpromising 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?

sorry, registration is no longer being taken for this program. If you'd like to be notified of future Gorge Stewards events, contact FMR Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator sue rich at, or sign up for our twice-a-month e-newsletter, Mississippi Messages, by entering your email in the periwinkle box at 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 2012 and 2013.

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! 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).