The annual weed pull calling volunteers to Bare Hill Pond in Harvard, Massachusetts; to yank invading water chestnut weeds from the pond’s depths wasn’t held this year. Why? Volunteer Rick Dickson said, “because we finally don’t need it.”
The plant is injurious with its four-headed needle-sharp seeds typically making it to shore and cutting the feet of those who walk on them. But the removal and control of the plant is not easy. The sticky water chestnut seeds are carried by ducks, geese and other animals from waterway to waterway, making elimination of the weed difficult.
Dickson and others who worked with him have vigorously worked for years to get Bare Hill Pond’s water chestnut weed population down, hosting three volunteer weed pulls a year at one time. He also used the town’s mechanical weed harvester. “We picked up 80 tons of weeds with the harvester one year. The next year, 20 tons, and the next just five, until we didn’t need the harvester anymore.”