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6 April 2006



Contacts:   Kay Chase, 269-387-5237 or 269-388-3777, chase@wmich.edu

                  Tom Small, 269-381-4946, yard2prairy@aol.com




“Rooted in Kalamazoo---Connected to All”

Day of Community Action, Saturday, April 22

Day of Learning and Celebration, Saturday, May 20


One of the things that has taken ROOT in the Kalamazoo area - and throughout the Midwest -  is an invasive plant species known as “garlic mustard”. Early settlers brought the plant with them from Europe to provide an early spring “green” to liven up their meals after the long winter. Unfortunately, in the last decade or so, the plant has been aggressively invading wetlands and woods where it seriously threatens the native spring wildflowers that we look forward to each year.


Seeking to CONNECT with one another and with the earth that nurtures us, three different groups will spend the morning removing this “invader” from natural areas within our community. Folks are invited to join their friends and neighbors in one of these “special places”:

·    Kalamazoo Nature Center, 10 am. Contact: Kara Haas 269-381-1573 x29.

·    Kleinstuck Preserve, 9 am. Meet at the Kazoo School on Cherry Street for this first project of the Southwest Corner Cluster of the Stewardship Network. Contact: Nate Fuller, 269-324-1600.

·    West Lake Nature Preserve on South Westnedge in Portage, 10 am. This is a project of the Portage City Environmental Board. Contact: Sara Wick 269-324-0068.


At noon, the Kalamazoo Nature Center will have a session on learning how to use garlic mustard to make a spicy pesto or a delicious fresh salad. Folks will have an opportunity to sample one of the tasty recipes from a new cookbook Garlic Mustard - From Pest to Pesto - A Culinary Guide. The cookbook features garlic mustard recipes from some of the area’s finest chefs who have joined KNC in increasing awareness of this invasive biennial herb.


Some of those tasty dishes may turn up later in the day at the Earth Day Potluck and Country Dance which will take place at The SmartShop Metalworking School, 516 E. North Street. People are asked to bring a dish to pass, with or without garlic mustard, and their own table service. Fair trade coffee and tea will be provided. The Brookfarm String Band will provide the music and Pam Rups will call the steps.


Other activities taking place on April 22 include:

·    Audubon Society of Kalamazoo workday at Mildred Harris Sanctuary, SW Corner F Ave. and 8th St., 9 am. Contact: Joyce Leppard, 269-664-4432.

·    Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Axtell Creek Restoration Project, 9:30 am. Contact: Tom Small, 269-381-4946.

·    Free Lawn Soil Testing, 9am-1pm at area garden centers. Contact: Melanie Szewczyk, 269-383-6429.

·    Premiere of “Animals Among Us: Discovering Wildlife in Kalamazoo” by local videographer Matthew Clysdale. Kalamazoo Nature Center, 2 pm. Contact: Matthew Clysdale, 269-349-2344.


On May 20, Earth Days 2006 will culminate with a “Day of Learning and Celebration” in Bronson Park. The day will feature information, displays, vendors, music, theater, and activities for the whole family.


Details on these activities and many other Earth Day-themed events during April and May may be found on the website www.kzooearthday.org