MPG Youth Crew Hunting the Hound

Jake fills his pack with Hounds Tongue. Photo by Tracy
At MPG Ranch teens put in their second day of work.  For a crew of adolescents hiking through draws thick with aspen, willow, and choke cherry pulling hounds tongue and clearing out old roots and rocks to prepare a garden bed, this is not the sort of job they ever imagined. This opportunity for some of the kids is their first job.  For others it is a chance to develop good work habits and ethic, and others still it is chance to get a hands on experience with conservation, research, biology, and land stewardship.  Anyway you look at it, its a win win. One of the kids said the other day after we had just hiked along a very steep side hill for quite sometime, “I fricking like this!” As we all know working hard and being useful feels good.

As part of the work the Youth Crew will be doing at MPG the kids have also agreed to do a bit of weekly blogging and photo taking.  Each week a new teen will take photos and select them for the blog and another teen will write a bit about our work.  This week our teen guest blogger is Jake he’ll give you a bit more info on what we worked on Saturday. Our guest photographer is Tracy.

A bit of green moss. Photo by Tracy

This Saturday we started the day off by pulling out some more hounds tongue. Hounds tongue is an invasive weed that disrupts wildlife and their natural routines. It is spread and deposited by animals or people that brush against its many branches. The plant can produce up to two thousand burs in one summer. The problem with that is that it takes very little time for it to find root and start its nasty life all over again somewhere else. The burs are very uncomfortable and make animals that walk by them spend more time trying to get them off during the vital time they need to be feeding or mating. We packed out the seeds, but most importantly you need to try to keep it off all of the game trails so as to keep its population away from the animals.

Cleaning out the old Juniper bed. Photo by Cori Ash

We finished off the day by cleaning out a bed for this summer. The bed is planned to be a pollinator garden. We removed quite a few roots of juniper bushes and had a heck of a time getting the majority of them out. There were also tons of rocks but we cleared most of those out too. We have ultimately been very productive thus far and are planning on continuing.

To read more about the MPG Youth Crew check out at the MPG website.

If you would like more information about the Youth Farm and our goings-on, please check us out and, and check out more blog posts!