Phragmites australis (European Common Reed) is one of many plants threatening the health of wetlands and beaches across Ontario, including our very own Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. This reed creates a monoculture (one species growing densely in a large area). Phragmites depletes the soil of all its nutrients, and its roots secrete toxins that hinder the growth and survival of other plants. To counteract the negative impact European Common Reed is having on the delicate balance of our essential beach habitat, a team of staff and volunteers recently pulled out 26 garbage bags worth of this reed from Beach Area 6. Now our native plants, like Marram Grass have a better chance of survival. Managing invasive species helps to protect the park’s biodiversity of both plants and animals, like the Piping Plover.
As a part of our Beach Stewardship program, Ontario Park staff planted native White Spruce trees by Beach Area 3. We are hoping that with a little care and a lot of water, these spruce trees will grow and multiply, increasing the number of native plant species in the area while helping the beach’s biodiversity.