Water chestnut is an invasive plant from Europe and Asia that grows rapidly on the surface of ponds and lakes. The weed doesn’t allow sunlight to penetrate through the water, removes oxygen from the water, and has other detrimental effects on the ecosystem. The seeds fall off of the plant and sink to the bottom of the pond until they grow up next spring. Since it has no predators in the United States, it can grow rapidly in a matter of a few years.
Just two years ago, Silk Mill Pond had no water chestnut covering its surface, but now in 2020, roughly 80 percent of the pond is covered in it.
During the two hour event, volunteers piled the water chestnut into buckets and canoes to pull as much as possible from the pond and pile it on the banks for the town of Canton to dispose of. Thanks to the volunteer’s hard work, we were able to remove over 25 boatloads of chestnut and clear 1/5 of the pond!
There is still more work to be done to clear the pond of this invasive weed. If water chestnut isn’t removed from ponds, it can spread through rivers and brooks to other ponds and lakes.
We look forward to doing many more chestnut removal events like this one next summer, not just on Silk Mill Pond, but on Ellis Pond in Norwood, and other bodies of water in the watershed facing the same problem.
If you are interested in volunteering at invasive removal events like this in the future, please email NepRWA Natural Resource Specialist, Andres Ripley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–August 8, 2020