Last August, the city of Hartford released thousands of water chestnut plants into the Connecticut River from its North Meadows floodwater storage pond near Riverside Park. At the time, the plants had ripe seeds ready to fall, so this negligent release of plants resulted in the spread of mature seeds downriver from Hartford to Essex. New plants have emerged at regular intervals, posing a huge challenge to the volunteers trying to manage water chestnut infestations.
After many volunteer-hours of paddling, pulling, and disposing of plants, we have cleared many areas of shoreline, but some larger patches remain. Paddlers are needed and most welcome to join any of the work parties listed below.
Place to Launch: Riverside Park Boathouse
Dates and time: Saturdays August 6 and 13, at 9 a.m.; Tuesdays August 2 and 9, 5-7 p.m. (If necessary, the dates Sat. Aug. 20 and Tuesday Aug. 16 may be added.
For these paddles, loaner kayaks are available with prior notice.
Place to Launch: 185 Johnson Street
Date and Time: Thursday, August 18, 7:30 a.m.
There are some other locations where we need 1-2 paddlers to check and remove small groups of plants in areas that involve short paddles of 2-4 miles total. These are in the CT River in Middletown, Cromwell, Glastonbury, and Haddam.
If you are able to help with any of these paddles, please contact John Hall to using the “Contact” tab above to register and to make sure you are informed of any changes in plans due to weather or other factors.