Discover Nature Day Returns For Seventh Consecutive Year


Garlic mustard is an invasive plant species in the area that is in need of some predators, and that predator may just be you! A garlic mustard pull will be part of a full day of outdoor activities held on Discover Nature Day, organized by Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area. Evan Greenwald, Outreach Associate AmeriCorps, and Haley Hutchins, Ecosystems and Partnerships AmeriCorps, have more details on this unique event.

Evan says, “It’s a one-day event here at Seneca Rocks Discovery Center where we have grade school through adults come through and learn more about the natural world that they’re at. We have a garlic mustard pull at 10:00 a.m. They can come down, learn what garlic mustard is, how it’s a non-native invasive species, help us just remove it from the grounds here at the Discovery Center. Then after that, there’s a free lunch for all pullers, and then after that, we have all sorts of booths and events going on related to nature. We have raptor associations coming to do a live raptor show. There’s a gentleman coming who’s doing a live snake demo. We have people coming to do breaking open of rotted-out logs to see what sort of critters you can find, rock painting, seed bomb making, anything you can basically think of that has to do with the outdoors will be going on. So the garlic mustard pull is from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and then there’s lunch in between there and then if you wanted to stick around from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. is all the events in the booths and stuff like that.”

Haley continues with some of the history behind Discover Nature Day. She says, “It came about because the PHCWPMA, which is our Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area, decided they already have this garlic mustard challenge in place, which is where people go out in to the forest and pull garlic mustard to try to eradicate it. They already had that, and they decided they wanted to combine it with an educational event as well, so they came up with Discover Nature Day, where they have the garlic mustard pull in the morning and education and activities and all the fun stuff in the afternoon.”

Evan says the event is important because of its outreach. He says, “Any way you can make any sort of connection to the natural world will build just appreciation for it and, hopefully, make people want to conserve and just be more involved with the outdoors and see the need for it.”

Discover Nature Day is returning for its seventh consecutive year, and though it is geared toward school-aged children who want to learn more about the natural world, all are welcome. Even continues, “It’s absolutely free, and if you wanna get involved, you can either shoot me or Haley an email. My email would be .”

Haley adds, “Mine’s”

Evan says, “And that would be if you want to get involved with the pull, and we’ll register you for that and get you all set up for your free lunch. Other than that, anybody who wants to show up for the events from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. is welcome. It’s just down here at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, so besides all that, we have all the interpretive programs that usually go on at the Discovery Center on weekends.”

Haley concludes, “You can also show up for the garlic mustard pull at 10:00 a.m. without registering or emailing us or anything. That’s free as well.”

Discover Nature Day will be held on Saturday, April 28th. More information can be found at or on the Facebook event page for the Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area. They also have future plans for other garlic mustard pulls, as well as STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Festivals.

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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