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Memphremagog Phragmite Removal

Memphremagog Phragmite Removal

  • September 9, 2021
  • by Columbia Forest Products

It’s a mouthful, and a lot of hard work, but last month, a dedicated team from our Newport, Vermont veneer facility’s Caring Team and other members of management got busy clearing invasive phragmites (water reeds) from the shores of Lake Memphremagog. 

This was part of an organized community effort to address the adverse effect of these plants along the 31 mile-long lake, which spans the border between Vermont and Ontario, Canada, and provides drinking water to over 200,000 people.  

Tim Mcnish, HR Manager at Newport, and Brian White, Plant Manager, were joined by CFP team members Andy Boisvert, Lisa Charland, Brian Dewing, Linda Girouard, Josh Houlihan, Silas Marsh, Kim Royer, Bruce White, and Vanessa White. 

“Those of us in the Newport area know what a tremendous asset Lake Memphremagog is to our community and the larger region.  We enjoy its beauty, and are able to take advantage of great recreational opportunities every season of the year, from swimming to boating to ice fishing,” said Tim. 

“We’re also aware of the threats to its health, and are ready at any time to contribute to projects like the phragmite clearing.  We hope our other CFP employees and our customers someday have the chance to visit us and see this terrific lake for themselves,” he added. 

Phragmite Removal 

As shown here, these reeds can grow up to 18’ high, displacing native plant species and animals, changing marsh hydrology, and when they dry in the fall, they can become a fire hazard. 

First, large tarps are positioned near the area to be cleared. 

Each reed is clipped by hand, close to the ground. 

Clipped reeds are deposited onto the tarps. 

Tarps are moved to parking lot. 

…and reeds are deposited into a giant dumpster. 

Finally, a tired but accomplished Columbia Caring Team celebrates their work. 

Click here for a beautiful drone video tour of this wonderful spot!