Don’t Panic, But 18-Foot Weeds Are Consuming the Prospect Park Lake

Photo from Kensington BK
Photo from Kensington BK

Like a scene out of a campy killer plant horror film, a score of meddlesome weeds have consumed the shoreline of Prospect Park lake, harming wildlife, and obstructing the body of water’s idyllic views.

DNAinfo says the gigantic reeds, called phragmites, can grow up to 18 feet tall, and though they have benefits such as creating a safe haven for birds, the weeds “knock out desirable native plants, block sunlight for aquatic plants and can change the lake itself by trapping sediment and making the water more shallow.” Scary plants! This summer isn’t the park’s first encounter with phrags, which grow worldwide; they’ve been apparent for years, but the article reports they’ve just started reaching maximum height.

So as part of their “Fight the Phrag” campaign launched earlier this month, the Prospect Park Alliance is seeking volunteers to commit to four-hour sessions to eradicate the pesky weeds on Aug. 16 and 23. Alliance spokeswoman, Corinne Martin, says eliminating the phrags is arduous; they must be cut and covered with black plastic to block sunlight, and after a year, the tarp is removed and the space is replaced with healthy, indigenous vegetation.

On August 1, 100 volunteers from Goldman Sachs (see! some bros are nice) chopped away at the park’s first session, and now you can help too. Channel your inner park ranger, strap on a full-body rubber suit, and hack the invasive pests that are ruining one of Brooklyn’s crown jewels.

Follow Jessica Militare on Twitter @ohheythisisjess


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