Metacomet Land Trust PO Box 231 Franklin, MA 02038

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Volunteer to Help Keep a Northbridge Forest and Environment Beautiful

May 6, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Help Metacomet Land Trust at the Szerlag Farm Preserve, May 6th – Register by April 22!

In Northbridge, over 500 acres of land are permanently conserved and protected to let the native plants and animals of Massachusetts live and thrive. Join forces with the Metacomet Land Trust and volunteers Steven Gniadek and Barbara McNamee on May 6th, 2023 at 1:00 PM in an environmental conservation action event, “Mitigate The Mustard.” You will learn about the Szerlag Farm Preserve, its environment, and the plants and animals—both positive and negative, native and invasive—that call places like Northbridge home. The event will focus on property care and cleanup, trail maintenance, and nuisance plant education and removal.

The safety of visitors using the trails to walk pets, hike, bike ride, and enjoy the isolated and solitary benches is important in helping to preserve and maintain this small town gem. After a mild and rather windy winter, many sticks, branches, and other natural (and unnatural) litter and debris have fallen on the paths, trails, and access areas and will need to be tended to in order to keep these remaining, accessible open spaces in Northbridge enjoyable for all.

What is the “The Mustard”?

Garlic Mustard, a foreign nuisance plant, will be another focus of the “Mitigate the Mustard” event to prevent it from encroaching on a pollinator meadow project by MLT, which allows native plants to thrive and bloom, and aid in declining Northbridge pollinator populations.

“There are several invasive plants here [at the Szerlag Farm Preserve], but Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, is one of the fastest to spread and consume an area when left unchecked,” explains Northbridge native Steven Gniadek. Steven is an environmental specialist and a member of MLT’s Board of Directors as well as a Stewardship Committee member. “Plants like Garlic Mustard were intentionally brought to the U.S. from other continents, and I think we should do our part to intentionally manage their spread.”

Volunteers can join Steven to learn about these types of invasive plant species with on site examples, a little science behind this specific invader, and its potential impacts while hand-pulling mature adults and first-year sprouts from the ground to stop seed production and protect both the MLT pollinator meadow project and forest understory.

“Most of these types of plants do well in disturbed soils and full sun,” explains Steven. “But Garlic Mustard isn’t picky. It doesn’t discriminate as it takes available and/or creates its own space where beneficial, native Massachusetts plants are already living. Thankfully, anyone of any age can very simply help stop their spread.”

Join Us!

Local community members, high school students, and town residents interested in learning more about environmental science, botany, conservation, or who want to just get outdoors and lend a helping hand are all welcome to help MLT tackle these cleaning and maintenance projects.

Sign-up is limited to a maximum of 20 people, ages 12 and over. Please dress appropriately for working/walking along trails and handling dirt and debris, weather permitting. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own work gloves, rakes, handsaws or pruners, however MLT can provide gloves as needed. Refreshments will also be provided.

Register yourself or your group by calling or emailing Steven Gniadek by Saturday, April 22nd, 2023, and get in on the action.

CONTACT: Steven Gniadek, Board of Directors and Stewardship Committee
(774) 670-3822,


May 6, 2023
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Metacomet Land Trust
View Organizer Website


Szerlag Farm Preserve, Roosevelt Drive, Northbridge MA 01534