Holding a nine foot long Milfoil specimen are, from left: Katie Martin, Doug Quinn, Grace Merry-Carreiro, Jonathon Merry-Carreiro, and Connor Quinn. Seated in front is diver Bob Patterson, Ab Aquatics

A trained and experienced diver, Bob Patterson of Ab Aquatics, Atkinson, removed Variable Milfoil by hand pulling from Powwow Pond in Kingston over the July 4th weekend. A huge thank you from the Powwow Pond Council to the voters of Kingston for approving a warrant article in 2008 that allowed for funds to control this aggressive invasive aquatic plant, which can overtake the diverse native plant species and threaten the ecology of the pond. Both the Weed Watchers Program, an exotic species monitoring program conducted by the state Department of Environmental Services, and the diver hand pulling, were coordinated by volunteers from the Powwow Pond Council, the nonprofit association that is dedicated to the preservation of the pond.

This summer’s warm weather and sunny days are providing ideal growing conditions for the invasive Variable Milfoil, which in some areas of the pond had reached the surface and already sent up flower stalks, on which the seeds are produced. Seeds would have caused the plant to spread to new areas in the water body, so removing these plants at this time was essential to controlling their further spread. The diver removal process also provided a unique opportunity for neighborhood children and their friends to learn first- hand about the problems of invasive aquatic plants as they watched the large amounts of plant material being brought to shore.

Through a combination of volunteer effort from the Powwow Pond Council and the foresight of conservation minded voters in Kingston, the battle against this exotic invader will continue in the coming years.

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