Volunteers needed to remove phragmites in Penetanguishene


Phragmite removal at Champlain Rotary Park in Penetanguishene.

Penetanguishene councillor Jill St. Amant is looking for volunteers to help remove phragmites from Champlain Rotary Park on the town's waterfront on Saturday, July 24, 2021.

Representatives from the Severn Sound Environmental Association will be on hand from 9am to 4pm to provide guidance and instruction on the removal of the invasive plant, which is a very labour intensive task.

Invasive Phragmites (European Common Reed) is an invasive plant causing damage to Ontario’s biodiversity, wetlands and beaches. It's not clear how it was transported to North America from it's native Eurasia, but it has been damaging ecosystems in Ontario for decades. It is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and out-competes native species for water and nutrients. It releases toxins from its roots into the soil to hinder the growth of and kill surrounding plants. While it prefers areas of standing water, its roots can grow to extreme lengths, allowing it to survive in relatively dry areas.

Volunteers will be needed to help tackle the plant in Champlain Rotary Park in two shifts, from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm. All supplies for removing the phragmites will be provided, and it is recommended that all volunteers wear long sleeves and pants for protection against ticks, and rubber boots.

High school aged students who ware willing and available to help are welcome to earn their volunteer hours.

If you are able to help out, please give Councillor Jill St. Amant a call at 705-529-3652.