Hello To All:

I hope this finds you all as well as can be this spring. Warmer weather and better days ahead. Thank you to all who helped with our phrag fighting in the past.

Spring Update Phragmites Fighters News:

We are underway for 2021!!!

Our working group committee is starting meetings for this season as a program under The Near North Enviro Education Centre. Click here to see our information  https://www.nneec.ca/phragmites

The Village of Sundridge, and Township of Strong have offered to help with removal of cut phragmites to the landfill for disposal and the Lake Bernard Property Owners Association will advertise our events on their Facebook site. Many thanks for the support we are receiving!! 

We will follow all COVID 19 precautions and restrictions in place as we go all summer.

Important things:

  1. Monitor your shoreHigh water, winds and moving ice may have brought pieces or exposed new masses of roots/rhizomes on your shore. These can re root and spread phrag further. See the pictures below and if you find these on your shoreline gather them up – bag them in leaf bags and take them to the landfill!! Protect your shore from invasive species.

Remember to Wild Your Shorehttps://watersheds.ca/

Let’s Restore Canada’s Shorelines

The health of your lakes and rivers depends on it.

  1. Grow Me Instead (North) Ontario Guide: https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NorthernGMI_2014_FINAL.compressed.pdf  

Encourage native plants on your shorelines to discourage any invasives and keep the lake healthy!

Paper copies are being distributed to garden centres. “Wild your shoreline” and no fertilizers on shore lawns.

3.NEW 2020 Phragmites Best Management Practices: https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Phragmites-BMP-2020.pdf.

We will hope to host by webinar Dr Janice Gilbert from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre who will present on the newly released guidelines/answer our questions and talk about truxors used in large stands effectively.

To keep us busy while in lock down:

  • Excellent Phragmites presentations from the March Ontario Invasive species centre Phragmites forum:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptq4rJeXJeo&list=PLdxRdOLT-h0i1VT8nlnkfZI4339TA0P4m&index=10&ab_channel=InvasiveSpeciesCentreThe sessions cover impacts of Phragmites on Species at Risk (including our turtles), what has happened at Long Point, new field information on the success achieved in removing phrag in murky waters less than optimal depths and shows truxors at work in very large stands.
  • Plants which have been shown to compete with Phragmites include:
    • Native woody shrubs and trees including grey dogwood, silky dogwood, red osier dogwood, large cranberry, staghorn sumac, and black walnut.
    • Grass and sedge species, tall enough to compete with Phragmites, include big bluestem, yellow Indiangrass, old switch panicgrass, prairie cordgrass- sedges like fox sedge.
    • Flowering forb species may include spotted Joe Pye weed, swamp milkweed, Purple-stemmed aster, flat-topped white aster and common boneset.
  • Gardening for Wildlife FREE course:April 21 to May 19 Canadian Wildlife Federation:https://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore/gardening-for-wildlife/action/workshops-events/course.html?src=ycwapr2021
  • 20+ Phragmites removal events are being planned for this seasonWe hope to continue to proceed with cutting events along HIgh Rock Drive and receive management guidance from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre (IPCC) https://www.phragcontrol.com/,  the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework.https://www.greatlakesphragmites.net/pamf/ and consult with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). This is year 3 of the 4 year plan to stop the phrag from spreading around the lake. If you have phrag along this route and need assistance let us know.
  • Boat Launch Signs:Thank you to Strong township for installing the boat launch signs at 4 locations..Please spread the word/and not the phrag seeds and pieces – phrag stands are not areas to ATV, boat or snowmobile through.
  • Volunteer T-Shirts:Volunteers come one come all and receive red long sleeved T shirts to protect your arms and ensure that you are seen while working in and around the water.The T-shirts are labelled with the words “Phrag Fighter” on the back, the Image from our local first nation artist Russell Nagonosh – on the front and the Trillium and NNEEC Logos on the sleeves.
  • Spades: Our garden spades are sharpened and ready to attack Phrag on beach/shoreline areas where previously there was solid phrag stalkshttps://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/OPWG-Spading-Postcard-1.pdf
  • Cane Cutters:New cane cutters are available for property owners for a donation to assist with home Phragmites removal effortshttps://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/OPWG-Cut-to-Drown-Postcard-5.pdf 
  • StudentsWe continue to recruit students for research, cane cutting, spading, piling and bagging the Phragmites from around our shore. If you know a student who may be interested – please forward their name.
  • Identification: If you are a property owner who is not sure if you have phragmites on your property and need to have help with identification, or if assistance with removal is needed – email: Marilee.koenderink@gmail.com

As the world continues to fight the COVID 19 pandemic and we cheer our success with moving into vaccinations/and yet find ourselves in another lock down – we hope this phrag fighting news makes you think of summer and warm days ahead!!

During these challenging times, remember to find out and follow all the municipal guidelines and restrictions online at https://www.sundridge.ca/  and https://www.strongtownship.com/en/index.aspx and https://www.townshipofjoly.com/ and the health unit: https://www.myhealthunit.ca/en/health-topics/coronavirus.asp this spring and summer.

~Marilee Koenderink

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