Volunteers spread out over the 5-acre Castle Park Nature Reserve in Laketown Township on Saturday, May 13, 2023, to remove garlic mustard from the wooded duneland in an event coordinated by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. Their three hours of work in the off-and-on rain netted nine bags of the plant that were properly disposed of by the conservancy group.
Garlic mustard is from Europe and Asia. It spreads quickly and crowds out native plants.
The Castle Park Reserve, established in 2003, protects nearly 400 feet of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline in a designated critical dune area, according to the conservancy’s website, naturenearby.org. Together with Dune Pines Nature Preserve, 4574 S. Audubon St., and an adjacent privately held conservation easement, Castle Park Reserve is part of a natural area that protects more than 50 acres of lakeshore habitat.
The only public access to the Castle Park Reserve is from the beach. The closest public access is from Laketown Beach about a mile south of the reserve.
The event was led by Jason Googins, stewardship technician from the conservancy. Participants were Charles Day, Ian Day, Max DeLeau, Joe Devine, Charles Kroll, Elena Kroll, Han Meadway and Ian Snyder.