HPWA
Spring Newsletter
Volume 11 Issue 2 Spring, 2020 HPWA is a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization
Herring News
By Ramona Krogman
 
Herring Count: Spring has arrived bringing river herring up from the Cape Cod Canal on their way to Great and Little Herring Ponds. A camera in the path is recording their progress. In a typical year, HPWA conducts live counting where the herring move into Great Herring Pond. The live counts supplement the data, documenting the number of fish that spawn in the river rather than moving into the ponds.  Due to the stay at home order, live counting is postponed until May 4. The status of counts will be reevaluated at that point.  
World Fish Migration Day will be postponed this year. It will be celebrated in the bright clear autumn days of October.   Plymouth's new date is October 24, 2020 ! The World Fish Migration Foundation still plans some celebration in May. 
On May 14th , you are invited to tune in to a 24-hour webinar hosted by the World Fish Migration Foundation called  Global Swimways Webinar Marathon . In this webinar, experts on the subject will tell about global swimways, species population status and trends. Practitioners and experts from each continent will share best practices and experiences and inspire us all to take action! The webinar will be divided into 9 sessions, each lasting 1-2 hours. For more information about the webinar sessions, please feel free to read the descriptions on their website (above in blue). Each session is free to join and can accommodate up to 500 participants. Please register for the session(s) that you wish to attend. 
Herring Crawl:  The HPWA Herring Crawl in May has been canceled due to the need for social distancing requirements.  The directions and a self guided tour are still available for those who need time out in the sunshine on their own. To download the map shown, go to https://bit.ly/2Y0Okms
Please follow HPWA on FaceBook or check our website for details.
From the Education Committee - Lee Pulis, Chair
HPWA committee members worked hard with the Town this January - March to plan for our volunteer herring count in April and May, the annual Town Herring Festival for April 25th, our Herring Crawl for May 1 & 2, and World Fish Migration Day on May 16.
We regret that these key events had to cancel or postpone, but want to provide some ideas and resources to help you get the most out of Spring 2020 in the watershed, whether alone on walks or homeschooling energetic kids and grandkids.

We’ve added a  COVID-19 Environmental Education Resources page  <https://bit.ly/3aGUDON> to our website loaded with links to both HPWA and third party materials. The document with the gold star is our latest list of resources. The new webpage displays best on a computer rather than a phone screen.

If you’re hyperlinked out, just take a break and enjoy getting outside. Reconnect with nature…enjoy and be healthy! 
  • Download and print HPWA’s Herring Crawl map and fact sheet PDF from either Facebook or our website. 
  • Use HPWA’s online Stewardship and Volunteer Activity Guide PDF as a home-schooling environmental curriculum and activity resource. If you want a print copy email Lee or stop by 921 Long Pond Rd for “no-contact delivery” on the porch.
  • Download or view HPWA’s online Superhero herring comics from the website. 
  • View herring at the canal (they are there now) and Bournedale park. 
  • Take a socially distanced nature walk at Alper, Condon, and Carter Beale open spaces for solitary or whole family participation. Share your observations, photos and species lists. Upload Pine Barrens plant photos to Salicicola.com for species identification help.  
  • Plan and prepare a raised bed “Crisis Garden,” reduce lawn monocultures, nurture milkweeds, and plant native species for pollinators and wildlife. Google: Companion plant chart. There is a shortage of seeds due to demand … try growing food from kitchen scraps.
  • Tackle patches of invasive plants like Japanese knotweed. Improve your backyard habitat respectful of wetland buffers, native species, and homes for wildlife. Provide a brush pile, vegetation edge and connectedness, predator escape cover, species-specific nest boxes, a bee hotel, a bat box, a water feature, and safe watering spots.
  • Create items for donation and online or future sale including benches, scarecrows, ACEC board games, paintings, decor, puzzles, coloring pages, crafts, photos, folk art, nest boxes, bee hotels, potted native transplants, etc.
  • Contribute artistic and photographic resources for current and future association use. You can submit to our Facebook page or contact any board member.
  • Take a bag along on your walks and pick up litter and trash to help beautify our watershed and keep it safer for children and animals.
  • Stay abreast of, share, and support friend organizations’ posts and initiatives (SEMPBA, WAA, PBP, Wildlands, Manomet, Herring Alliance, etc.).
JAPANESE KNOTWEED - HISTORY, GROWTH AND CONTROL
By Jerry Levine, Invasive Species Committee
Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is an herbaceous, perennial plant that was originally from Asia - introduced in Great Britain in 1825 and naturalized in the US in 1886. The plant is now considered an invasive plant as it discourages the growth of native plants by altering the availability of sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. Its growing characteristics also crowd out native species that provide food and shelter for animals.
Knotweed is found growing in a variety of habitats, abandoned lots, roadway edges, streambanks, and wetlands. The plant can grow up to 15 feet tall by the end of its growing season. It has large heart shaped leaves arranged alternately on hollow bamboo like stems with clusters of small white colored flowers.The plant's shoots come up from a network of spreading rhizomes and grow very rapidly.
Knotweed is an extremely difficult plant to eradicate due to its propensity to spread by roots or rhizomes. The roots can grow to a depth of 6 ft. and spread 23 feet from the original plant. The plant can be spread by transferring a small piece of root or stem while moving contaminated soil or during erosion from high water. The plant can also be spread by seeds and the plants spread by sending out roots to increase the size of the patches.

Control of Knotweed
Being proactive is critical, this plant is highly invasive.
Eradication can be achieved by a multipart process: removal, disposal, revegetation and use of herbicides. Due to the issue of using herbicides near and around an aquatic environment this will not be discussed. Be aware of removal of plants in a wetland, the issue must be cleared through the local conservation Commission.
The knotweed plants can be cut using a variety of methods: pruners, brush cutters, lawnmowers, etc. A small piece of the plant can start a new infestation, be careful while cutting and disposal, rake up and bag all pieces. Disposal of the cuttings is critical to prevent new infestations . All cuttings and roots should be bagged and disposed of offsite.
The recommended procedure is to cut or mow a minimum of 4 times a year between April and September. Cut also during the fall until the plant is ready to become dormant. Recall that Knotweed has the ability to spread beyond 20 ft. of the original plant. Consider the area that is necessary for proper cutting and elimination. Be aware of cutting non-invasive native plants in the area.
After the Knotweed is removed, re-vegetate the site with native plants , bare soil is an opportunity for re-infestation. The final step in the eradication of Japanese knotweed is to monitor the site to prevent re-introduction of the plant.
For more information on this highly invasive plant go to: http://nyis.info/invasive_species/japanese-knotweed/  
Garden Tips from Geri Williams
While many of us are sheltering in place and have extra time on our hands, now is a good time to walk our property and plan some improvements to our landscaping. Early spring is a good time to find the invasive shrubs in our woodland borders. Most native plants don’t start to grow leaves until early May, so most of what you see that is green are invasive shrubs like honeysuckle.  Many invasive plants get the jump on natives by greening up earlier, growing faster, photosynthesizing longer. It is easier to pull or cut them out before everything else grows up in the woods. You can also cut off at ground level bittersweet and greenbriar vines and try to pull them out of your trees and shrubs. Jerry Levine has written a great article on recognizing and removing Japanese Knotweed, which is highly invasive and prevalent in our watershed. Now is a good time to cut down the first sprouts and bag them up, do not leave them where they can regrow.

As you are planning additions to your gardens, think native plants . They are better adapted to our environment, require less moisture and provide more nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and moths and their caterpillars, and hummingbirds. The National Wildlife Federation’s  NATIVE PLANT FINDER
directs us to the most productive native plants for pollinators. Some of the plants listed for our area are goldenrod, strawberry, sunflower, Joe Pye weed, violet and lupine. Some trees and shrubs are oak, beach plum, chokecherry, willow, birch, apple and crabapple, blueberry and cranberry.
So think about digging up some lawn and planting a pollinator garden or help yourself to a healthier lifestyle by planting a vegetable garden and some blueberry bushes, so you can be more independent.  Even though the soil is still cold, you can plant radish, lettuce, spinach, kale and chard seeds, or purchase small plants to get even earlier harvest.

Our lawns are very labor and resource intensive, they require so much water, and the fertilizer companies have persuaded many of us that we need to fertilize 4 times a year and use pesticides and herbicides at great expense. However you do not need to fertilize more than once or twice a year, spring or fall (fall is best). Using less fertilizer and water helps our watershed and you will have to mow less often. By using a mulching mower and leaving the clippings on the lawn, you are returning nutrients and helping the lawn retain water better. Adjust your lawn mower to only cut off 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing.

When purchasing plants make sure they have not been treated with systemic insecticides like imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam as these pesticides have been shown to harm pollinators and the caterpillars that feed on their leaves. Also do not use these pesticides during the growing season. Try using neem oil or insecticidal soaps.
Although the fancy hybrids with double flowers and unusual colors are tempting to us, studies have found that pollinators are much less attracted to them, and even have difficulty accessing the reduced pollen and nectar in many-petaled hybrids.
 
I hope these tips are helpful. If you have any questions I might be able to answer, email me at  geri3williams@comcast.net or call me at 508-833-4355. Stay safe and enjoy your time outside in your yard.
3 Upcoming Spring Programs 
You can join 3 new programs from  Wildlands Trust from the comfort of your home. There is no charge, and Wildlands will be using Zoom to bring you these programs live with presenters Rob MacDonald, Wayne Petersen, and Blake Dinius. To learn more and get detailed instructions on joining each program are provided on the registration pages:  https://wildlandstrust.org/events . Recordings of the programs will be posted on our website and social media platforms if you cannot join the event.
Exploring Striar Conservancy’s Vernal Pools
Thursday, April 30, 2020
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Learn all about Striar Conservancy’s vernal pools with volunteer Rob MacDonald at this live virtual presentation.  
Birds of Spring
Thursday, May 14, 2020
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Join renowned Ornithologist Wayne Petersen to learn about spring migrants in Southeastern Massachusetts at this live virtual presentation.
Tick and Mosquito Safety Workshop
Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Plymouth County Entomologist Blake Dinius teaches us how to stay safe from tick and mosquito-borne illnesses at this live virtual presentation.
Thank You, Members!
by Martha Sheldon, Membership chair

We are pleased to welcome new members to HPWA: Nicholas Fiori, Jonathan and Mai Frank, Chris Fusco, Roger Janson, Mike Press and Yvonna Rowinski, and Morgan Wealti. Welcome!! We hope to meet you in person when the current health situation abates, and hope you stay in touch with us via social media and emails. 
Our annual letter to renew your dues will be sent to members in late May. 
We hope you enjoyed our Newsletter. Send any suggestions or pictures you would like to see in future newsletters to Geri Williams at geri3williams@comcast.com