City beginning work to eliminate phragmites from section of Howard Watson Trail

Work will begin in two phases on Monday, April 24

The City of Sarnia has a two-phase plan to eliminate phragmites, an invasive perennial grass, from areas along the Howard Watson Nature Trail.

The effort begins on Monday, April 24, 2017 with a local contractor starting work on spot cutting and grinding the phragmites in an area between Michigan Ave. and Exmouth Street.

Parts of the trail will be closed as the contractor does the work between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. That phase will last three days, according to a City of Sarnia news release.

The area is one with a high concentration of phragmites that has contributed to fires in the past. Signage will be put up as the work is being done and a spotter will be on site for protection of pedestrians who may inadvertently enter the trail near the work zone.

A second phase of the project will involve spraying the affected areas with pesticide in early summer.

The public will be notified of the spraying prior to the work taking place and after the spraying is done, a suitable seed mix will be applied to allow native species to return to the area and limit the opportunity for invasive species to return.

According to Patti Ross, manager of Parks, Forestry and Horticulture with the City, staff will be consulting with the Lambton Wildlife Committee and the Sarnia Urban Wildlife Committee to select an appropriate seed mix for the area.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has granted the City permission to eradicate invasive species including phragmites on the Howard Watson Nature Trail and in Canatara Park.

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