Parts of Snyder’s Flats to be temporarily closed while herbicide used to remove invasive plants
Woolwich - Portions of the Snyder’s Flats Conservation Area will be temporarily closed to the public for a period of 2-3 days, while an herbicide is used to control an outbreak of phragmites, an invasive plant species. The work will be completed sometime between September 14 and 25, 2015.
Signs will be posted at the parking lot at the end of Snyder’s Flats Road near Bloomingdale. The affected sections of the trail network within the conservation area will be marked as closed.
A licensed pesticide applicator will be applying the herbicide glyphosate, which is better known by the trade name Roundup. The herbicide has been widely adopted by conservation organizations as a safe and effective way to remove invasive species.
The affected areas will be posted one day prior and for two days after the herbicide is applied. There is a potential that the work could be delayed if there is heavy rain or high winds.
The herbicide will primarily be applied by hand to individual plants; however, larger outbreaks may be tackled with backpack-style sprayers.
Phragmites is a species that came to North America from Eurasia. According to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program, the plant 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.
In addition to taking over from native plants, it also reduces the habitat available to wetland wildlife species including birds, turtles and other amphibians and reptiles.
The plant was first observed on the property in 2013 and first treated in 2014. The treatments successfully eliminated several small pockets, but similar to many invasive species smaller follow-up treatments will likely be required on larger and new patches for another couple of years. GRCA staff hope that by reacting quickly to the plant’s presence, they can keep it from spreading throughout Snyder’s Flats and minimize its impact on the habitat of other plants and animals.