Community stewards needed to help manage Japanese knotweed

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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Conservation Commission is kicking off a summer-long effort to manage Japanese knotweed along the banks of the West River in the West River Park. Join in at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to learn how to control this invasive as well as lend a hand in stewarding this local resource.

Participants of all ages are welcome. Wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather, and bring loppers or pruners to use for removing knotweed. You will also want to have good gardening or work gloves. Volunteers should meet at the entrance of the trail down to the West River. The Conservation Commission will have extra supplies available and is willing to show participants how to identify and cut the knotweed. Water and snacks will be provided.

"The Conservation Commission chose this location because it is a popular swimming hole and canoe/kayak launch. Left unmanaged, the Japanese knotweed will grow to be very dense and prevent public access to the river," said Sue Fillion, planning director for the town. "Cutting it back throughout the growing season will help preserve access to the water and also will help to restore the site to a more natural condition."

In 2018, the Commission produced a series of short instructional videos that include why the plant is a threat, how to identify, and how to control it using a non-chemical method. The videos were produced by Conservation Commission member Jennifer Latham, in collaboration with the Commission, and recently won a Hometown Media Award in the Instructional and Training category from the national organization, Alliance for Community Media. The videos can be found at https://www.brattleborotv.org/brattleboro-conservation-commission/

For more information about the Brattleboro Conservation Commission and events, visit www.brattleboro.org or the Town of Brattleboro Conservation Commission Facebook page. Contact Sue Fillion, Planning Director, at sfillion@brattleboro.org or by phone at 802-251-8112 with any questions.

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