By Tim Kowols
A group of Jacksonport residents is hoping the rest of the county follows their lead when it comes to containing the invasive species Phragmites. The perennial grass is often found near the shoreline of lakes and streams but can be spread by simply being mowed over and popping up in different spots by traveling underground. After almost a decade of Phragmites taking over their shoreline, Jacksonport residents teamed up in 2004 with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department and the Door County Invasive Species Team to walk the shoreline looking for Phragmites and enforce an ordinance requiring homeowners to report and properly destroy the noxious weed. Jo Wahlen says the town’s Phragmites is down to three percent of what it was thanks to timely treatment and their efforts are being noticed.
Last year, The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor received a $200,000, three-year grant to control their Phragmites problems along the shores of Lake Michigan and Clark Lake.