Invasive species are a huge problem everywhere, including our park. Unfortunately, one feature around parts of our lake is the non-native plant Phragmites, also known as common reed. It is a perennial, aggressive wetland grass that outcompetes native plants and displaces native animals. It is found everywhere throughout the state, especially along our interstates. It has been classified by NY State PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) as a Tier 4 Invasive. This means eradication is not feasible; focus on localized management over time to contain, exclude, or suppress to protect high‐priority resources like rare species or recreation assets.
A patch of Phragmites near the dam down at Lake Bonita was recently spotted. Because Lake Bonita is generally considered a pristine environment with few invasives, a control program was organized. Under the supervision of Kris Williams, Invasive Species Coordinator for Capital Region PRISM, along with NY State Park personnel and Friends members, much of that patch was removed.
Although some Phragmites root systems will still be there next year to push up shoots, we are optimistic that continued monitoring and control practices will eventually remove it. Remember that removal or injury to plants and animal in state parks is prohibited. If you find an invasive species note the location and report it to the park office. Another option is to learn how to use NY State iMapInvasives. https://www.nyimapinvasives.org
Post and Photos by Friend’s member – Jim Pierson