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Penetanguishene looks for volunteers to remove invasive phragmites

Invasive phragmites are invasive plants that prevent native species from using the area, causing a decline in biodiversity and food supply
2021-07-03 Phragmites David Hawke

The Town of Penetanguishene is looking for volunteers to assist in the removal of invasive phragmites from the edge of the waterfront.

Invasive phragmites are invasive plants that hinder native species from using the area, resulting in a decrease in both plant and animal biodiversity and food supply for various species. 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 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. All supplies for removing the phragmites will be provided. However, it is recommended that all volunteers wear long sleeves, rubber boots and pants for protection against ticks.

Representatives from the Severn Sound Environmental Association will be on-site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide guidance and instruction on the removal of the invasive plant.

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

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Councillor Jill St. Amant at 705-529-3652.