September 18, 2013 - A new sign with information about, and the fight against, phragmites, an invasive species, was installed on White lake Road across from Deer Lake Beach on Aug. 29.
Several community groups and residents attended a sign unveiling about an invasive species called phragmites on Aug. 29. Photo by Andrea Beaudoin (click for larger version)
Groups Oakland phragmites and Invasive Species Task Force (OPIS) and Wild Ones are working to fight phragmites, an invasive plant species that chokes out wildlife and native plants and lowers property values.
The sign on White lake Road was unveiled by OPIS, Wild Ones, City of the Village of Clarkston and Deer lake Homeowners association.
According to OPIS, the sign installed on Middle Lake explains how phragmites and invasive species harm property values and wildlife, and what can be done to control invasive plants.
During the unveiling of the sign, Linda Lapinski of OPIS thanked several Clarkston residents, Deer Lake property owner Elizabeth Wagner as well as NOHLC for donating the money for the informative sign which was created by Wild Ones and the Clinton River Watershed Association.
"We had a lot of help with this project," said Lapinski.
In April, PlantWise, a contractor hired by the City of the Village of Clarkston conducted a controlled burn of an area of phragmites on White Lake Road after city provided a $2500 donation to help fight the plant.
The purpose of the burn was to gain greater access to phragmites roots, sometimes 10 feet deep, so they could later be sprayed with a chemical to penetrate its roots and kill the plant.
Other communities in Oakland County have asked OPIS and Wild Ones to make presentations about the impact and control of invasive species on the environment and properties.
Lapinski expressed hope the Independence Township Board will donate funds to continue working on fighting several types of invasive species.
"A lot of communities are looking to Clarkston and Springfield to take action," said Emily Duthinh.
In the areas where phragmites were removed, the native plants in the area are expected to begin recovering next spring.
"This phragmites infestation has been here for a decade or more," said Lapinski. "It will take a few years to completely remove the phragmites and see the native plants recover."
Deer Lake Athletic Club owner Forrest Milzow hired PlantWise to spray chemicals on phragmites blocking the club's view of the road and lake.
Jim Brueck, resident and Wild Ones member, said he would like to see more business owners, like Milzow, get involved in the fight against invasive species.
"Many homeowners have gotten involved," said Brueck. "I would like to see more businesses take action too."
Jared Root, a field crew supervisor at PlantWise explained how spraying the plants near the Deer Lake Athletic Club will kill most of them off in about two weeks.
PlantWise will return to Deer Lake Athletic Club in 2014 to continue to work on destroying the phragmites.