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Summit County to host noxious weed tour

Summit Cooperative Weed Management Areas
To help mitigate the spread of noxious weeds, Summit Cooperative Weed Management hosts the "Garlic Mustard Games."

The county’s weeds division is hosting a Community Noxious Weeds Tour Saturday, May 18 to educate residents on the “most-wanted” weeds in the county.

Noxious weeds threaten ecosystems and agricultural and recreational economies.

Summit Cooperative Weed Management Areas project manager Sara Jo Dickens says these weeds can also impact safety and natural resources.

“Garlic mustard is an example because it does produce this chemical that shuts down germination of other plants,” she said. “So we lose plant diversity, it impacts our soils.”

Since Garlic Mustard weakens plants around it, it can also make trees more susceptible to wildfires and deadly diseases.

“The big concern is that it suppresses the fungus,” Dickens said. “These fungus species are incredibly important to tree health. They help them especially in drought.”

Residents can meet Summit County Weed Superintendent Dave Bingham and Weed Enforcement Officer Dan Pena at the Spark Trailhead east off Highway 40 and Richardson Flat Road for the tour from 9 to noon.