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Green Stories: Pulling Fall Weeds



Vine Maple and Red Alder leaves crunch underfoot as our team of volunteers make their way down the road. Heads bent, eyes scan back and forth. We’re intent on finding pineapples. No, not the sweet tropical fruit, but the widespread, invasive species, Meadow Knapweed.

This plant produces a deceptively beautiful purple flower which blooms in late summer and fall, leaving behind a pineapple shaped cone perched upon a stalk that grows up 3 ½ feet tall. Meadow Knapweed out-competes native grasses and other plants like wild daisies, lupine, and Oregon Grape.

Three times since 2012, Mountain Rose Herbs’ employees have participated in this kind of "No Spray" project organized by our friends at Beyond Toxics. Many of us have come back year after year and it’s so encouraging to see the native plants retake the area where invasives once thrived.




This year, Mountain Rose River Project volunteers partnered with the GreenLane Sustainable Business Network volunteers and Beyond Toxics to remove Meadow Knapweed and Scotch Broom. The feisty, tenacious, grassroots non-profit organization, Beyond Toxics, has an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation to not spray pesticides and herbicides on a 10 mile stretch of highway west of Eugene, Oregon. These types of sprays not only kill weeds but other plant and animal life. To prevent pesticide use that eventually runs off into streams and to protect salmon in the Siuslaw watershed, we must pull the weeds by hand.

The team stopped for lunch at Triangle Lake and had a wonderful time soaking up the sun. These sorts of opportunities make me appreciate Mountain Rose Herbs’ Paid Time for Community Involvement Program. It’s hard work that leaves us sore, but the joy of getting outside and helping groups like Beyond Toxics is well worth it! We removed a total of 25 bags of invasive species, ensuring that at least this stretch of the road will not be sprayed with pesticides which harm our watersheds, wildlife, and communities.



Photos taken by Nichole Hayward, CAWOOD


Topics: Sustainability


Written by Alyssa on November 5, 2013

Alyssa Bascue, Director of Sustainability, is a trusted professional in her field with a passion for employee engagement and reducing environmental impacts of business operations, including emissions, energy, waste, and water. Growing up in an income-sharing, egalitarian community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, she’s a farm girl at heart. She received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Sociology, which helps to support Mountain Rose Herbs' mission of supporting organic agriculture and embodying socially conscious business practices. Alyssa completed a nine-week Master Recycler training and is well-known in town as an Employee Transportation Coordinator. She currently volunteers with Friends of Trees, Provender Alliance, Sustainable Food Trade Association, and the Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance. And she is an active member of the International Society for Sustainability Professionals. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking spicy foods, hiking and camping with her husband and brindle pup.

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