West Collingwood Phragmites Community Action Plan

Report of the Start-up Meeting May 5, 2015

Prepared by Eric Wilis

The meeting was well attended with representatives from the Town of Collingwood, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA), Georgian Bay Forever, the Rod and Gun Club, Rupert’s Landing, Admiral’s Gate, and Dockside Village. The organizers of the meeting were Gail Bascombe and Betty Beacon.

Following introductions there was a presentation by Dave Featherstone (NVCA), David Sweetnam (Georgian Bay Forever) and Brittany Hope (NVCA).

A Community Action Plan is being developed that will involve contributions of all affected parties to the spread of Phragmites in the portion of Georgian Bay that is congruent with Collingwood. At this point the lead is being taken by the NVCA and Georgian Bay Forever to find funds to finance a pilot study that will establish baseline data on the current state of infestation, develop a prioritization of methods for controlling the spread of phragmites, organize work days to remove some of the existing phragmites and draw some conclusions on how to proceed on a longer term basis to minimize the presence of phragmites in the region.

Some initial contact has been made with NASA to use satellite imaging to map and develop models of the impact of various depths of water on phragmite stands and its effect on wet lands. This initiative is supported by The Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative, which is an umbrella association of mayors of municipalities that border on the Great Lakes of which Mayor Cooper of Collingwood is a member.

Time Lines for this year’s efforts:

May/June: Map the phragmite stands in the study area (Princeton Shores to the Collingwood Harbour) using GPS from both the shore and the water.

Late June: Prioritize and select the control methods to be used this year

Late July/Early August: Organize work days/parties to remove Phragmites stalks in selected areas and in selected patterns

Fall: Follow up with another mapping exercise to determine effectiveness, review program and make recommendations for next year’s program.

Additional points:

  1. There is a need to educate the public about the *globally rare* coastal marshlands in the Collingwood area. Brittany Hope (NVCA) is the lead person and is in the final stages of producing some fact sheets to that effect.
  2. There is also a Garden Center initiative being developed by the NVCA to inform local nurseries and landscapers/property managers about the risks of invasive species to our wetlands i.e. the “Grow Me Instead” initiative.
  3. The next meeting will be held before the end of June.

Contact email addresses:

Betty Beacon: bbeacon@live.ca

Dave Featherstone:dfeatherstone@nvca.on.ca

David Sweetnam:executivedirector@georgianbayforever.org

Brittany Hope: bhope@nvca.on.ca

Wendy Martin: wmartin@collingwood.ca