Dakota County Parks

Lebanon Hills Regional Park - 5.03 - 6.30: Garlic Mustard Challenge at Lebanon Hills Regional Park

General Description

Dakota County Parks is excited to host the Garlic Mustard Challenge once again at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Help us bust invasive species in our parks. Garlic Mustard is an invasive species brought over from Europe that outcompetes our native wildflowers and tree seedlings that various native species rely on for food and shelter. It's a biennial which means it completes its life cycle in 2 years. Volunteers pull the second year plants prior to or during flowering. The flowering plants must be bagged up and disposed of, as the plants can still produce seed even after being pulled! This is one pesky plant we do not want out in our parks. 


Why use volunteers? Because people can pinpoint and effectively extract this plant better than any machine or chemical ever could. Mowing indiscriminately removes plant life and we want to use chemicals sparingly and as little as possible. Hiring contractors and private crews to remove this plant can become very expensive. Utilizing volunteers is a fiscal, effective, and greener way of tackling this issue. 


Following a brief training, you'll work alongside Dakota County staff and other volunteers to remove the plants from pre-designated areas of the park thanks to our GMC tracking volunteers. Complete ten hours of service during the season to win a fun prize as a special thanks to your commitment to the cause.


This Year's Prize:

Party in the Park

Complete 10 challenge hours to get an invite to an exclusive dinner party in the woods. 



Lebanon Hills Regional Park

860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123

(Driving directions)


Duties & Responsibilities

  • Learn how to safely and effectively remove this invasive species.
  • Work with a team to remove Garlic Mustard from predetermined sections of the park.
  • Perform ten hours of Garlic Mustard removal in Lebanon Hills Regional Park to complete the challenge.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Must be able to walk on uneven terrain and stand/crouch for extended periods of time.
  • Comfortable with walking distances up to 1 - 2 miles per event.
  • Must be OK with getting a little dirty and being outside in nature exposed to the elements. 
  • Fun for the whole family and all age groups.
  • If you would like to volunteer as a group (families not included), please contact our Volunteer Coordinator before registering.
  • Extra caution should be taken to those who have allergies to bees and plants.


Minimum Time Commitment

2 hours per shift, 10 hours total to complete the challenge. 


Activity Level

Moderate - You will encounter uneven surfaces and extended periods of time on your feet. Most of the work will happen while off trail and you may come into contact with wildlife and other natural elements. Includes walking distances of up to 1-2 miles per event. Appropriate shoes and clothing required.


Contact Information

Garrett Zaffke | Community Relations and Volunteer Services Coordinator

Dakota County Communications

1590 Highway 55| Hastings, MN 55033

Direct: (651) 438-4635 | Fax: (651) 438-4405 | Email: garrett.zaffke@co.dakota.mn.us


Qualifications Required

  • Accepted Data Privacy Notice - Tennessen Notice Must be Yes
  • Signed Volunteer Waiver Must be at least Yes

Schedule Summary

This activity occurs between Thursday, April 28, 2022 and Thursday, June 09, 2022