Welcome to Effigy Mounds, where the hills are large and the park is covered with garlic mustard. This park is located in the far northeast corner of Iowa and was a transitional point between the eastern hardwood forests and the central prairies. This park has spent the past seven years on their garlic mustard project which is what my crew, and every crew that got to take a trip up there, helped out with.
We got the chance to visit this park two times, and both times we got to spray garlic mustard at different beautiful locations around the park. Unfortunately, garlic mustard is a large problem within this park. It has a large, lasting seedbank that will most likely stay in the soil for fifteen to twenty years. That means crews and workers will be going back to this park for many more years until they can find a better way to remove this invasive plant species.
Here is a complete listing of what is going on at Effigy Mounds Park. https://www.nps.gov/efmo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
Q: Why did you join the Corps?
A: I joined the Corps for the experience and the benefits from working with the national park service.
Q: What’s been your favorite park thus far?
A: My favorite park I have been to while working with the CCI is Buffalo River National Park.
Q: What’s been your favorite project and what park.
A: My favorite project we had was assisting with control burns and fire management at Buffalo River.
Q: What’s been your favorite part about Effigy Mounds.
A: My favorite part of working at Effigy Mounds was the educational experience, especially when we had thrown atlatls.
Now, we bring it back full circle finishing this post at our last park, Ozark National Scenic Riverway in Missouri. This was the first national park that protected a river system, the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in south eastern Missouri. We luckily got to go back to this beautiful park two times, once for a cutting project and once for a small backpack spraying project. Our cutting project included removing Autumn Olive which tends to out-compete native species. As for our backpack spraying project, we were spraying lespedeza to help prepare a future burn site.
Thank you so much for following my adventures through the Heartland Network within the National Park Service. Hopefully you found yourself at least in one National Park for the centennial celebration.
Here is a complete listing of what is going on at Ozark National Scenic Riverway. https://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
Again since it is the centennial year for the national park service they have specific days with free entry days into the National Parks, the link below will show you the exact dates: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
Q: Why did you join the Corps?
A: I joined the Corps because I knew it was a good chance to get a taste of the field I planned on going into. Also, the crew I'm on works primarily with the National Park Service which sets me up for good resources in the future.
Q: Favorite thing about Ozark?
A: I really love all the different natural attractions in Ozark. There's some really beautiful springs in the area as well as some really cool ravines you can walk through. Being a native Missourian, I love going to beautiful places in my state.
Q: Favorite national park we’ve worked at thus far?
A: My favorite park so far has to be Buffalo National River. There's just so much going on there and so much to do. Caves, trails, mountains, lookouts. Not to mention the river itself. It's a beautiful place.
Q: Favorite project thus far?
A: My favorite project so far has got to be when we went down to Buffalo and got to work with the fire crews. Those guys have loads of experience and it reflects in their personalities. Working with a fire crew makes you feel like you're learning how to do some very tangible and exciting work. It was also physically taxing which is an awesome challenge to face. When you're all hiking up mountains and dealing with the heat and smoke together, there's something really special about a job like that.
Thanks for tagging along with me this year,