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Volunteers Needed for Audubon Water Chestnut Pull on Saturday Morning, June 24 | Community Spirit

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Volunteers Needed for Audubon Water Chestnut Pull on Saturday Morning, June 24
Volunteers Needed for Audubon Water Chestnut Pull on Saturday Morning, June 24

Jamestown, NY – Much of Audubon Community Nature Center’s 600-acre wetland preserve is covered by a series of ponds, making it dangerously vulnerable to what has become the annual arrival of the European Water Chestnut.

Accidentally released into waters of the Northeast in the late 1800s, this invasive species is native to Europe, Asia and Africa, where it has natural predators.  A different species from the edible water chestnut, this plant is capable of spreading rapidly. It forms a thick layer on top of ponds, lakes and streams, blocking sunlight from other plants and animals and making boating, fishing, and other water recreation very difficult.  

Since 2013 Audubon has worked hard every summer to control its infestation and prevent it from spreading to other waterways in the region, including Conewango Creek and Chautauqua Lake.

Audubon Water Chestnut Coordinator Julie Gibson and Invasive Species Management Assistants Tiffany Donaldson and MaryAnn Mason have begun tackling this year’s invaders. However, successful elimination of Water Chestnut requires the efforts of many volunteers to get into the water in chest waders, or work from rowboats, kayaks, or canoes to pull the plant up by hand.

A large group effort to manually remove these plants from Audubon’s waterways is planned for Saturday, June 24.  All volunteers need to be at least 16 years old, and minors need to be accompanied by an adult.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with pulling from 9 a.m. to noon. Lunch will be served at 12:30, with a report of success to follow. Water and snacks will be available throughout the morning, and Audubon will supply gloves, sun block, bug spray, and first aid.  

Service clubs, church groups, Scouts, and families are invited to volunteer together.

Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are appreciated, especially if you plan to stay for lunch. You can R.S.V.P. to Julie Gibson at waterchestnut@auduboncnc.org by Thursday, June 22, 2017, and include the number of people coming with your group and whether you can bring a kayak, canoe, or waders.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 or visit auduboncnc.org.

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.


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