Collingwood volunteers needed on August 24 in fight against aggressive invasive plant

August 20, 2019
Parks, Recreation, & Culture

The date is set and volunteers are needed for this year’s massive cull of Phragmites Australis, an invasive grass that grows so thick that turtles can become trapped and die.

On Saturday, August 24 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, and other partners will be going head-to-head with phragmites, a grass that grows up to 10 feet high.

Volunteers of all ages are needed for an hour or for the entire morning at two Collingwood locations for phragmites cutting. The rallying points are the north end of Hickory Street where it terminates at the parking lot of the Collingwood Arboretum, and at 49 Huron Street in the parking lot just east of Sobeys in front of the Iron Skillet. At noon, volunteers and family are invited to join in a complimentary BBQ lunch at 49 Huron Street.

Volunteers are asked to please register here:

Volunteers should expect to spend the day outside and in the water/muck, ​and should bring sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, clothes that can get wet/dirty, gloves (if possible), and sturdy footwear. This event is eligible for high school volunteer hours, so don't forget to bring your forms. 

The Town of Collingwood Parks Division will be picking up the phragmites piles that the volunteers have cut, and will be covering the dump fees associated with disposing of the phragmites.

Funding for this year’s project is provided by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, WWF’s Loblaw Water Fund, Environment, and Climate Change Canada EcoAction program, and the Town of Collingwood.

Phragmites is an extremely fast-growing, invasive, non-native grass. It continues to take over Georgian Bay shoreline, invade wetlands, and threaten precious ecosystems.

If left unchecked, Phragmites will cause serious damage to the biodiversity of our area. It out-competes native wetland plant species, creating a monoculture that compromises desirable habitat for all manner of wildlife. Phragmites also releases toxins from its roots into the surrounding soil, which impede the growth of and even kill off neighbouring vegetation.

More information on Phragmites can be found on the NVCA website (

To report a sighting of Phragmites, contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or use your smartphone to report at