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Considered to be one of the most aggressive invasive species in the wetlands of North America, Phragmites australis now poses a threat to Lake Bernard. 

Join the Phrag Fighters!

2021 Phrag Fighting Season Information

  • Phrag Fighters! Cutting events will be scheduled twice weekly throughout the summer and into September:  Dates will be posted below as they are determined.

  • Truxor and team from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre (IPCC) will be arriving July 21 - 23rd 

  • Volunteers will be needed for all events- there is a job for anyone wishing to help

1.  Cutting/Spading at Children's Garden -The Trinity Shoreline

(across from the Sundridge Public School)

Date: Tuesday June 29

Time: 8:00 am until 12:00 (If we finish early we can cut at the pharmacy shoreline.)

  • This site is a smaller one - with three areas to allow us to spread out to ensure social distancing is in place. There are some strands in water but most of the phragmites are on the edge of the shore.

  •  If by chance we have more than 10 phrag fighters we will break into 2 groups and cut at the pharmacy as well!!!

  • Hand Sanitizer will be on site/use before and after the cut, before/after eating or drinking.

  • Use the same piece of equipment (cane cutter, rake, spade, for the duration of the cut- deposit cane cutters in dirty bin for disinfection after use.)

  • Cloth masks are optional – please bring your own , a small number will be available if you feel you may not maintain a minimum of 6 feet from another volunteer not in your family grouping please wear a mask.

  • NOTE: You must read/complete the COVID Health Screening tool  waiver - We will be going over these verbally on site. 


       *****WE can sign volunteer hours sheets for students if they need hours!!

2.  Cutting/Spading Event #2 HANDS and Shore Sewage Pumping Station


Date: Friday July 2

Time: 8:30 am until noon (we may be finished earlier)


  • This site is a smaller one and will need no more than 5 more people in order to ensure social distancing is in place. Please let me know if you can attend.


  • Come and learn the spading involved for removal on sandy areas. Many thanks for helping!

Contact:  marilee.koenderink@gmail.com

See below the 2020 season end report /thank you to all who helped in any way to restore the health of our lake and wetlands and protect our shoreline and aquatic animals and native plants

If you are interested in joining the Phrag Fighters please contact Marilee - Marilee Koenderink <marilee.koenderink@gmail.com>

The Phragmites Working Group provides all the equipment required to assist in the effort - all you need is a great attitude and energy!

Phragmites now pose a threat to Lake Bernard. The purpose of this project is to organize a collaborative response with an expert plan for the removal of Phragmites from Lake Bernard. To that end, we have applied for and been awarded a $42,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

Phragmites are considered to be a threat to many wetlands including Lake Bernard for many reasons 

  • Decreased plant biodiversity

  • Poor habitats and food supplies for wildlife including species at risk

  • Lowered water levels resulting in drying of wetlands 

  • Loss of hydrological functions such as water retention and filtering

  • High proportion of dead stems that slow the release of nutrients back into the ecosystem

  • Negative affects agriculture, lower property values, and impact recreational activities such as swimming and boating

*See Ontario.ca for more information on Phragmites



The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada's leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

The Near-North Enviro-Education Centre provided support and pledged to assist with the work plan including assistance with submissions of applications for funding.The Phragmites working group developed a work plan and summarized learning from the summer test cutting events. 

Looking to Get Involved?

Have you assessed your property for the presence of invasive Phragmites ?

Having difficulty deciding if it is Phragmites?

Do you require help removing it from your property?

Have you helped or would you be willing to help your neighbor remove Phragmites from their property?

If you would like more information or to be added to the Phragmites Fighters Lake Bernard email list for updates regarding education events or to volunteer, please email: marilee.koenderink@gmail.com

Information and Resources

To download the full report, Recomendations for Invasive Phragmites Management on Lake Bernard, by Invasive Pragmites Control Centre, click below.

Tips for spading and cutting invasive Phragmites, from Ontario Phragmites Working Group.

Phragmites Working Group Lake Bernard  End of Seasons Summary

Related Web Sites
Phragmites Survey

Please assist us by filling out a short survey of just 4 questions so that we may evaluate the effectiveness of this project to engage and educate the public around the issue of invasive phragmites.