Phrag Busting Community Champions Needed!
Job Posting: Summer Ambassadors 2018– Phragmites (The Mighty Phrag, invasive weed)
We're looking for Summer Ambassadors who will undertake dock visits to educate property owners on how to identify and eradicate invasive Phragmites on their property, map invasive Phragmites and organize community cutting activities.
In addition to Student Ambassadors, we are also looking for volunteers of all ages to dedicate an hour, a day, a week or an entire summer to fighting the invasive Phrag.
Even though it’s early spring – our obsession with ridding our shorelines of invasive Phragmites, a habitat-destroying brute, continues! The good news is that our community has continued to rally and tackled 71 Phrag sites in the summer of 2017. An amazing achievement!
The Honey Harbour Association and Georgian Bay Forever want to thank these Phragbusters for taking the time to: learn about the negative impacts of invasive Phragmites, get trained on how to remove them from shorelines, and TAKE ACTION!
Further Reading on Phragmites in Honey Harbour
- Thank you to more than 49 families and friends from Honey Harbour for cutting the plant from your shoreline this summer. These stands will be greatly reduced next year, and will continue to diminish every year until they are hopefully gone. We look forward to the shoreline no longer being blocked by a Phrag wall that interferes with your enjoyment of a beautiful shoreline, and to the return of native plants and improved habitat.
- Thank you to more than 32 families and friends who volunteered EXTRA efforts to remove Phragmites from neighbours’ shorelines. Some stands are so big, they can seem overwhelming without help! Kudos to the many that assisted neighbours and helped prevent future spread! This plant doesn't know borders, and if left unchecked will just keep spreading to new places that we all care about.
- Thank you to White Contracting & Barging and Big Red Works Inc. for donating barges to the cause.
- Thank you to student ambassadors Kristin Koetsier and Conor Sweetnam. These students worked passionately to reach and engage more than 73% of property owners who have Phrag on their shorelines in Honey Harbour and helped to train volunteers and organize many public cuts.
- Additional thanks to Jack Fitz and Sam Dale student ambassadors from Cognashene who helped on many of our Honey Harbour cuts.
- Thank you to the Honey Harbour Association, Georgian Bay Forever, The Township of Georgian Bay, and FOCA for providing financial support and training. Under the leadership of Honey Harbour Association and Director Kathryn Davis and Georgian Bay Forever, funding, training, and supervision were organized for the 2017 Honey Harbour Phragmites program.
What’s the next step and how can you help?
Every year, we get better and closer to our goal of eradicating this plant from our shorelines. However, the fight is not over.
- Summer 2018 Phragbusting- We need your continued help and support this upcoming summer. This year we are looking for a hands on volunteer to take on the Phrag program in HH. Working with Kathryn, GBF, and the student ambassadors, we need a community champion. Please call Kathryn at 647-588-3599 if you are able to help.
- The Georgian Bay bigger picture - To support ongoing Phragmites eradication efforts around all of beautiful Georgian Bay, as well as water quality protection, and solutions to mitigate water level extremes, please donate to Georgian Bay Forever (GBF). GBF is a charity that relies almost entirely on the generosity of individuals, just like you! GBF is hopeful that you see the value in protecting The Bay, and will consider contributing a tax-receiptable gift to protect the water and shorelines of Georgian Bay. Visit GBF.org to learn more and donate.
Thank you again Honey Harbour community for your outstanding efforts to help protect the shorelines. See you this summer!
Sources and contributors: Heather Sargeant, communications director for Georgian Bay Forever, Kathryn Davis, report information from Kristin Koetsier 2017 Honey Harbour Student Ambassador, photos in order courtesy of Linda Yorick, Sara Davis, Kristin Koetsier
August has arrived, and it’s time to get Phrag-Busting!
We are excited to share with you our cut dates, map, and brand new bundling technique.
Our biggest community cut this year will be in Charlie’s Channel on Saturday August 12th at 10am. White Contracting and Barging has generously donated a barge that will be at this site for the Aug 12/13 weekend—anyone who has Phrag cuttings for disposal may drop them off at this time!
We really need volunteers to help out, so we hope that you will join us at any or all of the following cuts as well (more dates to follow):
- Sunday, August 6th at Bide-a-Wee Channel (10am)
- Monday, August 7th at the Walshes’/Lades’ (10am)
- Tuesday, August 8th at the McKees’ (10am)
- Saturday, August 19th at the South Bay bridge(9am)
- Sunday, August 20th at Medicine Island (10am)
- Monday, August 21st at the Shields’ (10am)
Please note that cuts may be cancelled the morning-of due to inclement weather (a little rain won’t hurt, but thunder and lightning we want to avoid!). We may not be able to send mass cancellation emails at short notice, so please check the weather and use your own judgment!!! When in doubt, contact a Phrag Buster to find out whether the cut is still on.
As always, please bring sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, work gloves, water shoes/boots with a tough sole, gardening shears/clippers or underwater power cutters, brown paper leaf bags or twine optional. Please do NOT use exacto knives (they break) and DO keep an eye out for poison ivy!
If you’re curious to know where all the Phrag is in Honey Harbour and surrounding areas, please check out our Phrag busting map created in conjunction with Cognashene Phrag busters Jack and Sam.
Sites where the diamond icons have been changed into stars simply mean that we’ve already made contact with the property owner (or a neighbour nearby). If there is Phrag on or near your shoreline and you need help making a plan to get rid of it, please get in touch!
Email Kristin Koetsier: ph: 519-636-3731
Email Conor Sweetnam: ph: 647-892-4778
The Honey Harbour Association has recently purchased it OWN gas-powered cutter! Please contact us if you would like to borrow it.
The best way to dispose of Phragmites is still to cut it below the waterline and burn the stalks. However, tying dense clumps of Phragmites together with twine before (or after) cutting it down can make carrying the cuttings to the drying/burning site a lot easier! Even if you are not able to burn it, bundling Phrag before piling it onshore makes it a lot less likely to re-root since it reduces contact with the ground and you can turn the piles more easily. We cannot recommend this method enough!
What is the Difference Between Native Phrag and Invasive Phrag?
Still confused as to how to tell native and invasive Phrag apart? The easiest way is to look at the stem colour. Native Phrag has bright shiny red patches interspersed with beige/green, as shown in the photo below. In contrast, invasive Phrag stems are just green fading to beige at the waterline, although they occasionally have a slight purplish tinge.
Native Phrag sites should be monitored in future years just to make sure they don’t hybridize with or get taken over by the invasive variety!
Happy Phrag busting, and we look forward to seeing you at a community cut soon!
Below, you will find some of our older posts from previous Phrag Busting events and more information about Phragmites
Phrag Cutting Demo This Saturday, July 22
Please join members and student Phrag busters Kristin & Conor from HH, along with Phrag Busters from CCA and GBF to learn best practices for cutting Phragmites! Drop by this Saturday morning on the main channel just before Tomahawk (exact location marked by dot on map below). Bring your family and friends. This will not be a full-fledged cut, but rather a casual opportunity for you to learn hands-on about good removal methods! If you have any questions about how to tackle Phragmites, please drop in for however long or short you would like. If you have any garden clippers, shears, or gas-powered cutters that you wish to try out on a Phrag patch, please feel free to bring them along.
We will have our new Phrag cutter there if you would like to learn how to use it. There will also be discussion on disposal options of the stalks and demo “logs” made.
Please bring your own: drinking water, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, gloves, hard-bottomed shoes that can get wet, hipwaders and/or clothes that can get wet from the waist down.
Please be aware that the Phrag patch is only accessible by walking through knee-to-waist-high water with rocky footing. The two cottages to the east of the Phrag patch have kindly offered to let participants use their dock space, and there is also a sandy area to the left of the docks where some boats may wish to beach.
The perfect time to cut Phrag near you is loosely between July 24 and Aug 11th(before it flowers). Please remember a bin for disposal will be available on Aug 12thin Charlie’s Channel. Now is a great time to start planning your local neighbourhood cuts!
The Phrag-Busters are Back
They're back! The Phrag-Busters Kristin Koetsier and Conor Sweetman are out on the Bay, and they're looking forward to meeting you.
They are currently scouring the shores of Honey Harbour looking for phragmites stands. They're armed with lots of information on this invasive species, and they want to share this knowledge with everyone possible- most importantly, how to identify phragmites and steps to properly eradicate it from your property. If you see the boat The Bay Keeper be sure to wave!
Would you like to schedule a cottage visit by one of our Student Ambassadors? If so, please contact Kathryn Davis.
You can also come and meet Kristin and Conor at our Annual General Meeting in July. We look forward to seeing you!
Read about our past Phrag-Busting Activities
COMMUNITY CUT IN CHARLIE’S CHANNEL
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Many thanks to the hardworking volunteers who made the community cuts in South Bay and Bide-a-Wee Channel so successful! We cut a ton of Phrag!
We’ve made great progress but there’s still more Phrag to go! This Sunday we will be clipping seed heads off and cutting some of the patch on the south side of Charlie’s Channel.
This is a really big stand to tackle, so we may not be able to cut all of it down, but the more people that come out to help the more progress we’ll make! We will be holding this event on Sunday rain or shine, continuing on Monday if lightning strikes!
Please bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, gloves, water shoes/boots with a tough sole, and gardening shears/clippers.
If you’ve yet to tackle your own Phrag, please keep in mind that some stands are starting to flower and seed heads may develop soon after. If you see flowers or seed heads, please make sure to clip them off and bag them for proper disposal! (You can burn them in leaf bags or let them melt in the sun in garbage bags for a few days before throwing them out). Please also keep in mind that a fire ban is still on.
Honey Harbour Association featured on Georgian Bay Forever's website (see below) for organizing phragmites cuts. Members of the community have already cleared large areas of phrag. Click on the story below to read more.
It’s Phrag-busting time!
In 2016, members of the Honey Harbour Association and others from the community joined forces in the fight against invasive phragmites, a plant that is rapidly taking over shorelines and wetlands on Georgian Bay.
We want to do even more this year, and we need your help!
Growing in tall dense stands, this unsightly reed crowds out native vegetation and traps local animals trying to reach the shoreline! A major threat to biodiversity (not to mention your enjoyment of the waterfront), this invasive species has got to go! But it’s going to take a high level of community involvement in order to tackle this problem, since phragmites spreads so easily. That’s why the Honey Harbour Association is partnering with Georgian Bay Forever to coordinate cutting efforts this summer, and we need as much help with cutting and clearing as we can get.
Bag That Phrag!
Exciting News! This year we are planning a "drop off" event. At both of the above cuts you will be able to bring your bagged Phrag and put it in the dumpster (donated by A&A again this year!)
We are able to sign for volunteer hours for high school students.
It is important to note that phragmites must be cut and disposed of properly to prevent further spread. Please get in touch with us for directions before tackling a stand of your own.
We look forward to working with you on this important community issue!
Phragmites Workshop April 2016
Momentum Builds as Phragmites Education Lends Positive Results
Phragmites Eradication Efforts are Underway