The Battle of the Brushpile Competition Makes a Return After COVID-19

The North trophy from the last Battle of the Brushpile.

Thor Nelson

The North trophy from the last Battle of the Brushpile.

Thor Nelson, Staff Writer

The Battle of the Brushpile, meant to take place in Geneva every year, will be making its return this year for the first time since 2019. The battle entails removing invasive species in Geneva’s Wheeler Park.

“I think that getting kids outside, getting them connected with nature, kinda working and getting to know the natural areas is fun,” said Natalie Rosin, who is one of the advisers for the participating National Honor Society. “But kids are busy and there are so many things that compete for their time that making it a competition kinda helps getting kids excited.”

The goal of the Battle of the Brushpile competition is to help fend off the invasive plant species that actively harm the native species, affecting when the competition takes place. 

“The species that we’re trying to save, the native species, are all in their growth stages, their reproductive flowering stages during the spring and summer,” said James Lotarski, who is closely affiliated with other contributors to the Battle of the Brushpile. “So, we don’t want to tread on them while we’re moving through the forest, so holding it later in the year is a way for us not to do as much damage.”

The Battle of the Brushpile is also hoped to be a net positive on environmental education, with its administrators hoping it will help educate on the state of Geneva’s environment in Wheeler Park. 

“The hope is to energize and motivate people,” commented Lotarski. “And to educate people as to the amount of degradation that has happened by bringing invasive species from other continents.”

Several of North’s clubs, like Eco Club, are participating in the event. Battle of the Brushpile will occur this coming Saturday, Dec. 3. Anyone interested in participating can sign up with this still active Google Form: Battle of the Brush Pile Sign Up 2022