DeKalb Park District Logo
Explore and Engage

The Great Garlic Mustard Hunt

Saturday, May 1 | 9:00-11:00 am | Prairie Park, located at 401 Clifford Drive

Calling all green thumbs! If you're looking for a way to get out in nature and give back to the community, help us tackle one of the most invasive species in our District- garlic mustard! The DeKalb Park District is asking volunteers to help eradicate the invasive species garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Invasive species are no joke. Garlic mustard is abundant and threatens native plant life in our area.

According to HIPP (Headwaters Invasive Plant Partnership), invasive plants are non-native species whose introduction can lead to environmental and economic harm. A naturally aggressive plant may be especially invasive when it is introduced to a new habitat since the insects, diseases, and foraging animals that naturally keep it in check in its native range are not present. Often invasive plants are distinguished by their ability to grow and reproduce quickly, as a result, they threaten biological diversity by out competing native species.

Garlic Mustard No Flower

Here's how to help:


1. Please bring your own bag, basket or bucket to pull and carry out this invasive species. We also insist you wear gloves and with all the rain we've had this spring, wear shoes you don't mind getting muddy. Long pants and sleeves are also recommended in case young poison ivy is present.

2. When removing garlic mustard, you should place your hand as close to the base of the plant as possible and pull out the plant including the entire root.

3. Once you pull garlic mustard, it must be removed from the area immediately to prevent the spread of seeds and placed in your bag, bucket, or basket.

4. Staff will be on-site to help collect and dispose of whatever you have pulled.

Garlic Mustard with Flower

Learn more about Garlic Mustard here. Questions? Contact Superintendent of Parks & Development, Mat Emken at memken@dekalbparkdistrict.com.