Volunteer to remove European water chestnut

Date(s) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Audubon Center & Sanctuary


The Audubon Nature Center is trying to eliminate the European water chestnut, the invasive species that can wipe out other species of aquatic plants and animals in a water body, from its site at 1600 Riverside Rd., one-quarter mile east of Route 62, between Jamestown, NY, and Warren, PA.

Water chestnut floats on the water with a single root to the bottom. If left alone, plants grow to cover an entire pond so densely that nothing can easily navigate through them, reducing the light to the bottom and significantly impacting populations of other plants and animals. Much of the nature center’s 600-acre wetland preserve is covered by a series of ponds, so there is plenty of opportunity for the water chestnut to take root.

Great progress was made when volunteers and assistants from WNY PRISM pulled plants that were intermixed with other species. Based in Buffalo, WNY PRISM – Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management — is a collaborative approach for coordinated and cooperative efforts that share and leverage limited resources.

More help is needed. They estimate it will take 18 people working four hours to complete the job of removing all the water chestnut nutlets from the entirety of Big Pond and Spatterdock Pond this year.

The Nature Center has proposed some days and times for pulling:

  • Tuesday, July 19 – 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 20 – 1-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 22 – 5:30-8 p.m.

They have to have at least two people to pull at one time. If they can get four people for each pull, they can call it a success, with just clean up left to do. If we get some more rain, they can use kayaks, but right now it is primarily a job for chest waders loading onto boats.

To volunteer, get answers to your questions, or learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours, email waterchestnut@jamestownauduon.org, or visit their website.

Service clubs, church groups, Scouts, families and individuals are invited to choose times when they can volunteer. Individuals who can bring kayaks, canoes or chest waders should mention this when signing up.