Our volunteer frog-bit workday at Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary June 24 resulted in the removal of five city truckloads of invasive aquatic plants from the duck park.
Huron Pines staff worked alongside volunteers with the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary board and Alpena’s Youth Volunteer Corps to rake European frog-bit from shallow water and clear invasive cattail from the area near the kayak dock. The workday was part of an ongoing effort to manage these invasive species in order to preserve recreation access and wildlife habitat.
“The biggest positive outcome has been helping prevent the spread of frog-bit to other waterways,” said Water Program Technician Nick Theisen, who has led the workday since last year. “We’ve been focused on areas where people access the water so they are less likely to have frog-bit on their kayaks when they leave the sanctuary. The situation is very much improved, with a lot to go still.”
Alpena Youth Volunteer Corps Director Emmy LaFleche brought 11 young volunteers to help in the effort. Her program introduces its participants to an array of different projects and careers, including conservation efforts. The group participated in a macroinvertebrate and water quality field study with Huron Pines in 2021.
“I’m passionate about conserving wildlife in Alpena and educating our youth on why it’s important,” she said. “We like to offer a lot of diversity in the types of experiences so they can find their own interests and their own niche.”
Support for this event was provided by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program and the Consumers Energy Foundation. It was part of the Huron Pines Protect Wild Places program.
Thank you to all who volunteered. See scenes from the day in our gallery below.