Knotweed Warriors Win First Battle at Brush Dump, Leave Body Bags
If you walk past the Brush Dump on Merriam Street in the next few days, you will see the clear result of a massive but not really bloody battle against the Japanese knotweed that is taking over the town. In the weekend’s brutal heat, a group of intrepid volunteer Knotweed Warriors took their weapons of choice to the dirt pile of doom. For those of you living under rocks, this is the area where the fill used for the town center was hanging out…and getting invaded. There are several prior articles in the Owl about this; seek and ye shall find.
Saturday morning’s volunteer event was pretty much the Who’s Who of Conservation. Next time, the town should consider not sending so many generals into the fray–it could have wiped out the vanguard of land protection. Among the warriors could be seen Lori Hess, chair of the Tree Advisory Group and member of Planning Board, Leslie Glynn also of Planning Board, Joel Angiolillo, president of Weston Forest & Trail Association, as well as Battle leaders Jordan McCarron, conservation administrator, and Rees Tulloss, Conservation Commissioner. Two Boy Scout Troop 157 scouts were there with their parents, who quickly entered the fray as well. Of course, the Owl was there in her role as a WFTA trustee but also because she never misses a chance to wield a machete (let that be a warning to all you would-be editors, haha, kidding)–and Mr. Owl, who plans to come back to wipe out some incipient bittersweet which was off the list of goals. And speaking of bittersweet, Weston’s bittersweet warrior, Gregory Barison was there as well. If there are other volunteers the Owl missed with her sharp raptor gaze, you have my apologies.
The group, with the added bonus of some pre-work by Mr. Tulloss and Mr. McCarron, was able to cut down the two largest swaths of knotweed. The stalks were placed into said body bags where those among us with bad tempers were able to give them some last kicks. These bags will be left to dry out and smush down (technical terminology, sorry) in the heat and sun and then dragged off into a more unobtrusive spot. In late August, the stems left by the machetes and loppers and knives will be administered some poison in the guise of glyphosate. Yeah, do not MESS with Weston, knotweed.
The plan for that area of the brush dump has not been elaborated. If it were me, I would level off that dirt and let a meadow grow over it, while sending out periodic patrols to make sure the invader is not back. As some of you know, that area is just downhill from the old Merriam barn where two hundred cattle were led down from in 1915 and tragically sacrificed (foot and mouth disease). Poor Charles Merriam never got over it and died later that year. But that’s a story for another day. You can feel sorry for the cattle and Charles but never ever the Japanese knotweed. Give it a kick as you go by.
In less disjointed news, Alanna Muldoon of Weston Media was also out filming the massacre and an educational video will soon be ready for the town of Weston to know what to do when they find knotweed on the sides of roads (I see you, North Avenue) and on their properties. Battle-ready, Weston? Remember, it is not what the town can do for you, it is what you can do for your town.