Meeting the challenge of managing on a small scale without herbicide

GLPC Editor’s Note: This case study showcases small-scale management that does not require herbicide. Due to the size of this project, not all protocols detailed in the case study are comprehensive. This model is most applicable for private landowners or small parcels where continuous monitoring and follow up treatments are possible. 

Author: Lynn Short

WymbolwoodBeachMapWymbolwood Beach, Ontario is part of Nottawasaga Bay in the eastern basin of Lake Huron, and includes approximately 3km (1.9 miles) of sandy beach bordered by trees. Most of the properties along the shore are privately owned, approximately 15-30 meters (50-100 feet) wide, with some Township access points interspersed. Though the Wymbolwood Beach Association (WBA) is primarily a community social group, spurred on by an individual member in 2000, members of the association began a response to the growing non-native Phragmites population taking over beachfront properties in their area.

Through the WBA, area residents have been encouraged to control non-native Phragmites on their own properties. By 2015, areas of repeated removal showed mixed vegetation while unmanaged areas had near monoculture stands of non-native Phragmites. For most of this time, management has been conducted by individual landowners, but in 2010, the group initiated a student work program, hiring local area high-school students to assist with management activities.

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Non-Native Phragmites along Wymbolwood Beach. Image courtesy of WBA.