Letter: 'Adopt a beach' to take care of flowering rush?
I was thrilled to read in the Becker County Record (8/27) that weeding flowering rush by hand is viable option. I hope everyone caught the message and does their part to rid our beaches of this very invasive, non-native plant before we are "mowing" our lakes!
When a clump of flowering rush pops above the water's surface on our beach, we dig it up -- roots and all -- with a pitchfork. But whenever we mention that in casual conversation, we hear many comments along the lines of, "don't let the DNR catch you doing that!" To think that hand weeding flowering rush -- known to be choking our lakes and rivers -- is illegal does not make common sense. Letting it spread seems like a much worse crime.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating that people are not allowed to touch flowering rush. But as the article said, hand removal is allowed by the DNR in small areas. Although the problem may be too far along to control manually -- I think we'd be amazed what a concerted human effort could accomplish over time. With proven success by a condo association in our own Deadshot Bay -- we should learn that it's never too late to try.
I envision a coordinated "Adopt a Beach" effort sponsored by area lake associations doing for flowering rush what MnDOT's "Adopt a Highway" program does for litter. It will never completely eliminate it -- but will certainly improve it, along with our sense of stewardship. I'd be more than willing to volunteer some hours and back muscles to pull weeds from our beautiful city beach and I don't think I would be alone. -- Mary Beth Gilsdorf, Detroit Lakes