The Godzilla Weed!

Why is Knotweed a problem?

Japanese knotweed is an invasive weed that was introduced into the U.S. from Eastern Asia as an ornamental on estates in the late 1800’s.

Knotweed forms impenetrable strands which choke out and displace entire ecosystems. Knotweed features broad leaves with pointed tips and flat or heart-shaped bases, and large, hollow stems which give it a resemblance to bamboo. An extensive network of coarse, root-like structures called rhizomes allow knotweed to out-compete native plants, even choking out deep-rooted willow trees.

Knotweed can produce seeds, but it is rare for the seeds to germinate.  The most common method of spreading is by means of stem sections or rhizomes.  Even a small stem section can root and spread the plant.

How do you get rid of nasty knotweed?

  • The best way to remove knotweed is by excavating the entire rhizome system (root structure).  This means going as deep as the rhizomes exist.  However, even a small missed rhizome can cause regeneration of the infestation.  Rhizome networks can extend 65 feet laterally and up to 25 feet deep and are capable of growing through concrete, making this plant a serious threat to infrastructure, especially roads and building foundations.
  • Frequent mowing.  However, this carries the risk of spreading the plant through fragments.  Any mowed knotweed should be dried out on site first and then burned.  (Knotweed is classified as a “controlled waste” and cannot be disposed of by adding to household waste under Environmental Protection Act 1990.)
  • Herbicide treatments.  In fact, one can hire a company to come in and inject the plants (Alice Publow has the details on this).
  • Use heavy tarps to smother the plants.  This involves covering the knotweed area with tarps in the Spring.  Periodically, the plants will rise up under the tarps and will need to be trampled down.  The LLWIA is trying this approach on an area of knotweed at the Preserve.  However, we have been told by one group that has tried this, that even using this method for three years might not be enough to eradicate the plant.

Japanese knotweed is one of the world’s most invasive plants.  It has been nicknamed the Godzilla weed”.  It has wreaked havoc on even more landscapes than that of the fictional monster!

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Algae Bloom Warning

Bernard Thoma
Loon Lake
10216 County Route 92
Wayland, NY 14572
Home – 585-213-4030
Cell – 607-745-1713

On 6/26/19 an algae bloom was sampled in Laf-a-Lot Cove. DEC confirmed that the bloom was an hazardous algae bloom (HAB). Though hazardous, it was determined that it was not highly toxic. Though not highly toxic, care should still be taken to avoid contact with discolored water and items that contact the HAB. If your skin is exposed to the HAB the area of exposure should be washed. A second potential HAB was founded in Serenity Cove on 6/30/19.

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“Walk & Talk” & LAL Gathering

Save This Date

Celebrate the Lake Gathering

 Thursday August 15th

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Laf-A-Lot Restaurant

Sponsored by the Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance

http://LoonLakeSteubenNY.com

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Trees Matter

Why Plant Trees/Alice Publow

What are all those white ‘posts’ popping up on the Loon Lake Wetland Preserve? The plastic tubes are mini greenhouses which help protect the young trees from deer graze and rub, excessive wind drying, and rodent gnawing. But, why all those trees? Trees protect and improve water quality, clean the air, attract wildlife, and provide shade and beautify the landscape.

Forested buffers are vital to prevent nutrient carrying sediment from flowing into Loon Lake. Tree canopies intercept and hold water during rainstorms and facilitate a drip at a slower rate allowing absorption rather than overwhelming streams and ditches. Even fallen leaves and sticks provide a layer of protection, shielding soil from the full impact of rain or wind. Roots help break up compacted soil and open spaces where water can be absorbed. These roots hold and stabilize stream banks and the lakeshore, preventing erosion and sediment runoff.

Trees filter out harmful chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and road salt, before they can reach the water. The trees themselves take up some chemicals while fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms which live in forest soils take up others.

Shade provided by trees lowers the water temperature, which improves the habitat for aquatic ecosystems from microorganisms to reptiles and fish. When water travels through the tree structures, nutrients are stored, utilized, or returned to the soil. Excess nutrients and higher water temperatures are causes of harmful algae blooms and explosive growth of aquatic vegetation.

Planting trees remains one of the most effective, and low cost means for improving air quality. Trees help by removing CO2 and act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect. Gaseous and airborne pollutants are removed through plant stomata (pores on the outer skins of the leaves).

Forests are also incredibly valuable for the habitat they provide for birds, insects, and wildlife.   Forests generate both food and shelter and encourage a diversity of vegetation, fungi, and microorganisms above and below the forest floor. Trees also act as windbreakers and noise absorbers.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.” Trees we plant and nurture today, will provide generations to come with a healthier and more beautiful world. Join us at Loon Lake Wetland Preserve to help plant and care for our new trees. Check the Loon Lake website (http://LoonLakeSteubenNY.com) for scheduled volunteer times. Happy planting!

   Did you know?

  23 truckloads of trash were hauled away from the Preserve!

70 truckloads of gravel, dirt fill, and trees were removed from the creek

22 loads of dirt were deposited elsewhere at the Preserve

  Stearns Chicken Dinner,   Saturday, June 29, 2019

sponsored by the Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance

  Pick up at Loon Lake Chapel 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

 Advanced sales ONLY,  take out only                                                                                        Menu: ½ chicken, potato salad, baked beans, roll

 $10 per dinner  ($9 per dinner if purchased before 6/14/19 )   

Contact: Carol Reynolds: 42 East Lake Road,   585 213 4226

Paula Thoma:   10216 Cty. Rte. 92,   585-213-4030

Alice Publow:    80 Lindenwood Road,   585-213-4011

Diane Willey:     65 East Lake Road,   585-728-2562

2019 Loon Lake Cottage-Finds Silent Auctions & Sales

 Hand Painted Items…Art Prints…Home Accents…Jewelry

 Items available for purchase or silent bidding at the following venues…

 *Loon Lake Association Meeting * Loon Lake Chapel

  Saturday May 25th              3:30-5:30

 *Thoma Multi-Family Yard Sale * 10216 County Route 92

  Saturday June 29th 9:00-2:00

 *LLWIA Chicken BBQ  * Loon Lake Chapel

  Saturday June 29th 4:00-6:30

Proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the LLWIA, just for the health of it (the lake that is)!

Questions?  Please Contact Paula Thoma 585-213-4030

 

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Antler’s Inn work

Steuben County (with some help from the Town of Wayland) has embarked on a flood control plan at the Antler’s Inn Road site where the water flows through culverts into the short spillway into the lake.  The work consisted of replacing the two 2 foot  diameter culverts with two 4 foot diameter culverts, stone to protect the sides of the road and clean out of all of the debris in the spillway.  See photos below.

 

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Barn Dismantling

Stan Wisniewski and crew continue the dismantlement of the barn from the inside out.

Look at this spectacular view of the state of dismantlement shot by Hal Sussman!

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Alliance Matters

Alliance Matters…..

Awakening the Wetlands ….A Dream Comes True by Paula Thoma

Memorial Day weekend marked the beginning of the “summer’ season. Cottages and homes line the waters edge and dot the green hills and valleys, gleaming with a sparkle of renewed life.

On Saturday, May 26th, Loon Lake Watershed friends gathered to celebrate the opening of the Loon Lake Wetlands Preserve. After the ribbon cutting, nearly 40 people participated in guided walking tours led by Eric Busch, Alice Publow, and Zane Simonowiez. The tours included explanations of earth moving begun by the joint efforts of Steuben County, the Town of Wayland, and community members to remove fill and restore the water flow to its natural state. The fill included improperly disposed of items such as shingles, appliances, and tires.

Visitors also observed some new inhabitants in the trio of birdhouses that stand as a promise for new homes for our wildlife. Two new bat houses constructed of recycled materials look down from the poplars in tribute to local boy scouts that joined the community effort.

Rows and rows of newly planted trees, pussy willows, and other plantings donated by Trees for Tribs, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and local community members wait for time and nature to establish their roots. Over one hundred milkweed plants and seeding pollinator wildflowers have also been established as part of the Monarch (Butterfly) Watch program.

The Loon Lake Wetlands Preserve is approximately a 10-acre parcel that borders Chapel Road, Route 21 and includes the stream that abuts Davis Road and makes its way to the lake. This land holds historical value for many long time residents. Restoration offers enjoyment of a natural habitat for all creatures small and large. It more importantly means healthier water flow into the lake as the properly restored wetland does its intended job.

Please watch, enjoy and pitch in as this restoration project unfolds. As noted above, much work has already begun. A planning committee of the LLWIAlliance has authorized the dismantling of the large barn, and is working with the Lake Association and Town to utilize the pole barn as a winter home for the new weed harvester.

Many community members have donated money to help make this dream become a reality. However, more donations are needed to help with immediate costs incurred to meet the purchase price, garner insurance for visitors, and to continue the cleaning process. Please consider a donation, large or small. Every dollar counts. To inquire or to make a donation, please contact an Alliance member, or send your donation to LLWIA P.O. Box 372 Wayland, NY 14572.

Donations may also be made by participating in the summer long silent auction. The auction began during the wetlands open house, and remains open all season long. Information will be available through the Loon Lake website: http://www.loonlakesteubenny.com or by emailing LoonLakeFinds@gmail.com. See the auction page in the Loon Lake Link for more information.

Thank you to all for your support in making the Loon Lake Wetlands Preserve a reality. Our dreams have come true.

Author:  Paula Thoma

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Flood at Antler’s Inn Road

The word is that 2 inches of rain fell in less than an hour at Antler’s in Road.  The two tiles under the road were somewhat clogged, so that the detention pond filled up rapidly.  The clogged tiles could not conduct water quickly enough and the water flowed over the road and eroded the Harrison’s side of Antler’s Inn Road.  The Harrison’s property was flooded similar to what happened a couple of years ago.  They experienced a flooded basement.
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Preserve Property Tax Exemption Granted!

The LLWIA is thrilled to report that after first being rejected for a County, Town and School real estate tax exemption, that decision has been reversed and the tax exemption on the Alliance Preserve property has been granted.  The application was made by Megan Dorritie of the law firm of Harter Secrest & Emery and she has been advised that the application was approved without the need to appear before the Appeals Board.

John Hayden had the foresight to engage a law firm with experience in obtaining tax exemptions.  Thanks to John, Megan and Alice Publow, the appeal documents submitted included clear and definitive information and photographs supporting the environmental and educational use of the property since its acquisition, as well as plans for how it will be used in the future to enhance and protect our watershed.

Local residents, full time and seasonal, area Boy Scouts, colleges and high schools have helped us to improve the quality of the land surface and have studied land and water to learn what we must do in the future.  We’ve also been helped in many ways by our Town and County governments which have shared our desire to protect a regional asset for us and those who will follow us.

There is more to do and, with the continuing support from folks who can clearly see both the accomplishments and the opportunity for further improvements, we aim to do more in the years ahead.

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New Weed Harvester

The weed harvester team of Brian Hamilton and Bud St George launched the new weed harvester (still orange) on May 2, 2018.  The team would like to find winter lodging for the new machine to keep it out of the elements.  Brian would also like to keep the new machine maintenance up to date to avoid crises developing, as happened last year with the old machine.  If you have noticed that your “weed district” tax rate went up a bit in your last tax bill, that is necessary to pay for the new machine.

 

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