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Invasive species are opportunistic and given a chance, will establish themselves in gardens, parks, on fences, in tree wells, and in sidewalks. Green & Open Somerville hosts invasive removal events in the spring and summer months, gathering for a few hours at a time to pull out Black Swallow Wort, Japanese Knotweed, Garlic Mustard, and other aggressive plants that take over gardens. Some, like Black Swallow Wort, attract Monarch butterflies, who lay their eggs on them, and then when they hatch, the caterpillars are poisoned when they eat the leaves. We weed on public property or, when we get permission, on private property. If you want to join us or know of a property in need of weeding help, email us at We have a printable ID sheet here. The city has a helpful reference sheet for identification found here. And this is the Massachusetts list of invasive and banned plant species. Do you have any in your yard?

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