NPS employees and volunteers from El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments tackled invasive exotic plants the old–fashioned way: by pulling them.
Seventeen participants from all divisions pulled approximately 1200 invasive exotic plants from El Morro National Monument in just a few hours. To make weed-pulling more enjoyable, the exotic plant “Infest”-ival consists of hands-on learning and identification of invasive exotic plants, pulling of the plants, fun, games and a potluck lunch.
First held in 2009, the event was so successful it was requested again in 2010. Working in one area or with one species, NPS personnel make a direct impact on the resource. It is easy to see the results. Jessica Erickson, biological science technician for both monuments, said, "When we're battling things like cheatgrass and tamarisk, removal is a daunting task. It's empowering to know that a patch of NPS land is invasive free."