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Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to help hand pull water chestnut plants at Silver Lake Sanctuary in New Berlin, on Friday, June 22 from 10am to 1pm.

“We’ll be working with volunteers who are developing Silver Lake Sanctuary along with members of the Silver Lake Swimming Club to remove the water chestnut,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “We’re trying to help restore this lake and to keep water chestnut from spreading to other water bodies.”

An invasive aquatic plant from eastern Europe introduced into the United States in the mid-1800s, water chestnut forms rosettes of leaves that float on the water’s surface. Left uncontrolled, the rosettes block sunlight and crowd out native vegetation. In late summer, the plant develops spiny nuts that fall to the bottom and can potentially cause injury to swimmers.

Canoes and kayaks will be provided by OCCA, the lake’s owners and local residents. No other outside watercraft will be allowed.

“Invasive species are frequently transported by improperly cleaned watercraft,” O’Handley said. “The lake owners are trying to prevent invasive species from coming in to or going out of the lake.”

The plants will be pulled out of the lake by hand, then dried and composted. Lunch will be provided.

“We have a limited amount of space in our canoes, so anyone interested in volunteering should sign up soon,” O’Handley said. “This also lets us know how many to expect for lunch.”

Silver Lake Sanctuary is a 40-acre lake, wetland and riparian forest on the western edge of Otsego County. Volunteers are developing a trail system and seeking to improve the property for wildlife.

Volunteers can sign up at occainfo.org or by calling OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, research, resource management, advocacy, planning and practice. For more information, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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