This past summer, the Waitsfield Conservation Commission led ongoing efforts to manage invasive Japanese knotweed along the Mad River in Waitsfield, in partnership with the Warren Conservation Commission’s efforts in the neighboring town. The two towns shared five University of Vermont interns throughout the summer and both groups met weekly to work along the river cutting, digging, mowing and smothering knotweed. Community members also volunteered to “adopt” sections of the riverway to manage themselves. Volunteers and the interns logged a total of 1,022 hours managing knotweed in Waitsfield during the summer.
On Thursday, November 3, the Waitsfield Conservation Commission will hold a debrief session on Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m. to collect reflections on the first year's effort of knotweed management in Waitsfield and gather ideas for next year.
“2022 witnessed the first year of Waitsfield’s efforts to manage Japanese knotweed in town and halt its spread along the upper elevation road and waterways. We began the year with three objectives: Stop spread of knotweed along upper elevation roadways and waterways and eradicate young infestations; educate and engage community in knotweed eradication and demonstrate that progress is possible; and learn from year one experience to inform plans for subsequent years,” said a report the commission’s Curt Lindberg and Bob Cook sent prior to Thursday’s meeting. “In many regards results exceeded expectations,” the report said. “We managed 66 individual knotweed infestations, more sites than we originally intended. As a result of intensive management (cutting, digging, mowing, smothering) we witnessed significant weakening of 83% (55 sites) of these infestations.
“The spread of knotweed in the areas of the managed sites has been halted. It is hoped that continued attention in subsequent years to the smaller sites along upper elevation roadways and waterways will result in eradication. This has been the experience in Warren.”
Join the meeting on Thursday at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/780179794