Saturday is time for Utahns to 'Purge your Spurge'

Published April 29, 2014 2:22 pm
Volunteers will pull weeds below Grandeur Peak and in Dimple Dell.
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Three activities are planned Saturday for the eighth annual Purge Your Spurge campaign.

The effort to get rid of myrtle spurge, a noxious weed that destroys native plants and contains a poisonous sap, will focus on the foothills below Grandeur Peak, just south of Parleys Canyon, and on Dimple Dell Park.

And once again REI will serve as a gathering point for Salt Lake County residents to exchange spurge from their yards for free native plants, said Julie Peck-Dabling, Salt Lake County's open-space coordinator and organizer of the weeding activities.

"Participants who help clear the mountainsides of myrtle spurge will receive a voucher for five free native plants," she added, along with chances to win ski passes, gardening materials and headlamps.

Sage Fitch, a county noxious-weed specialist, suggested volunteers wear protective eyewear and clothing, including gloves and long sleeves, because myrtle spurge releases a sap harmful to the skin and eyes when it is pulled.

Saturday's activities are co-sponsored by the county's open-space and noxious-weed divisions, Dimple Dell Advisory Board and the Salt Lake Conservation District.

More information about myrtle spurge, a Eurasian native transplanted to North America as a rock garden ornament, is available at http://www.purgeyourspurge.org. —

Anti-spurge activities

There are three opportunities Saturday to join the fight against spurge and other noxious weeds:

Community weed pull, 7:30-9:30 a.m., the Parleys access trail to Grandeur Peak, 2900 S. Wasatch Blvd.

Community weed pull, 8-10 a.m., Dimple Dell Park Wrangle Trailhead, 10364 S. 1300 East, Sandy.

Spurge and water-wise plant exchange/sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., REI, 3285 E. 3300 South.

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