Have you ever heard anyone say to just “let nature take its course?” Whoever first said it probably wasn’t speaking literally, nor did they understand the ecological implications of an invasive species on a native species. The infamous buckthorn, for instance, is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of invasive species. Many more continue to prosper and take over the land. Some of these invasive species, much like native species such as poison ivy, have certain defenses that are unfriendly towards humans. In the last few months I’ve had to learn how to identify poison ivy and other noxious weeds. In fact, for more than two weeks we spent our days armpit-deep battling against wild parsnip, which is an invasive weed that is quite hazardous to humans although its taproot is, in fact, edible. So what’s bad about wild parsnip?
Though June rains were big news all over Minnesota, the effects of 2012 rainstorms are still making headlines in the northeast area. This spring and early summer at Jay Cooke State Park, Conservation Corps young adult and youth crews worked together to help clear a two-year-old logjam from one of the park’s most popular and scenic areas along the St. Louis River.