We are starting our second season in the quest to eliminate all goat head thorns in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Last year was quite successful with the near complete elimination along the loop trail complex. Though the plants are gone, seeds will continue to germinate and grow following rainfall and warm weather of late spring and summer.
Good news this year as the city of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee have each allocated a staff person to focus on pulling the goat head plants within their cities. WenatcheeOutdoors.org and the Complete the Loop Coalition each provided $5,000 in matching funds to assist this process in both cities. Wenatchee High School will allocate staff time, and the Washington State Parks has two staff that will help with herbicide application when acceptable. Eastmont parks and Chelan County PUD will continue their support with seasonal staff.
We need to continue with a core group of volunteers that would be willing to adopt a section of the Loop Trail to pull and dispose of goat head thorn plants. Last year we had enough volunteers to cover a section every one or two weeks. Those that didn’t want to commit to a section still helped with plant pulling whenever a section was overwhelmed, or someone was on vacation. Mike Sorenson worked the eastside loop trail from the walking bridge to the start of the Rocky Reach Trail and appreciated the excellent work of the Eastmont Parks.
The Goathead Warriors provide shovels, gloves and heavy-duty garbage bags to simplify the plant removal, and also have a training class for those volunteers that may not have seen a plant before. The thorn is tough on bicycle tires, dog’s paws and thin soled shoes. In one season a plant can grow greater than eight feet across. Each mature plant creates hundreds of thorns and the thorns sometimes wait years prior to germination; That is why it is so important to get them early in their growth cycle.
If you have the desire and the fortitude to give a couple of hours, a couple of times a month, we would like to set you up with the knowledge and the equipment to take on this local invasion.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is affiliated with WenatcheeOutdoors.org.