Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Fairbanks boosted the Dandelion Demolition crew to a record 80 people on Saturday. The annual volunteer event invites visitors to help dig up the invasive dandelions, which creep into the park on the tires of vehicles. Those invasive dandelions harm the ecosystem by taking over native dandelions.

Participants learned the difference between invasive dandelion species and native dandelion species. The National Park Service provided tools, safety equipment and instruction.

It was serious work, and dandelion diggers carried in the results of their labors in durable canvas bags. Each bag was weighed. Toward the end of the four-hour event, Rutley Jackson, 7, returned the heaviest bag of invasive flowers — for his age group — at 16 pounds. But other adults were still in the field and yet to bring in their hauls.

There were contests for the longest root and the biggest flower. Prizes were awarded also. In recognition for their services, adults received a voucher for a future bus ride into the park or a night at a park campground.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.

Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.