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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 11:06

Phragmites information meeting April 19 at Purple Woods Conservation Area

Phragmites Scugog BKartheinSCUGOG - Have you noticed the tall, yellowish, swaying reeds and feathery plumes as you travel along the roads throughout the Kawartha Watershed? For many people, the feathery plumes are the subject of scenic photos, while others like to collect the seemingly harmless plumes for indoor and outdoor decorations.

Unfortunately, while they may seem harmless, the decorative looking plants are an invasive species that threatens native vegetation and the wildlife that rely on them.  

Phragmites, pronounced frag-mite-ees, otherwise called the Common Reed, presents a significant threat to Ontario’s biodiversity, economy and society and to watershed health across southern Ontario and throughout the Kawartha watershed.

On Wednesday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Scugog Environmental Advisory Committee, in partnership with North Durham Nature, Scugog Lake Stewards, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Kawartha Conservation and Central Lake Ontario Conservation will be hosting an information meeting on Phragmites in Heritage Hall at the Purple Woods Conservation Area.

Renowned wetland ecologist and Phragmites activist Janice M Gilbert, Ph.D, will be leading a discussion on Phragmites and what the public can do to help stop it.

The invasive plants are an extremely aggressive, fast spreading plant that can reach heights over 6 metres (20 feet), allowing it to outcompete native plant species for water and nutrients Ontario Invasive Plant Council 2017).

While the Phragmites populations in the Kawartha and Lake Scugog watersheds are still small and manageable, if left unchecked, populations will grow and the cost to control the spread will ultimately become prohibitive and extensive.

The April 19 meeting will provide an opportunity to hear from Ms. Gilbert and ask questions while also learning what other organizations are doing to help mitigate the spread of the plants. There will also be an opportunity to meet and network with community members who are working together to develop a call to action for an invasive species management program for Phragmites.

For more information about the meeting, contact the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority or call at 905-579-0411