The Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has expanded its efforts to control terrestrial invasive species at the Upper Saranac Lake (USL) boat launch. After one successful stormwater bioretention site was transformed into a pollinator garden in 2019, USF has taken on remediating another.
The first of two sites has already seen flowering plants and a variety of pollinating butterflies and birds. USF, in collaboration with AdkAction, Paul Smith’s College’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI), the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), turned the launch from a home of non-native and invasive plants to a habitat of native flowering pollinators.
The bioretention sites that were developed to capture stormwater and prevent runoff into the lake were overrun with terrestrial invasive species. After removing the invasives and installing an organic weed barrier, additional native wildflower pollinators will be planted with the assistance of the AdkAction Pollinator Project.
It is unknown how the invasive plants were introduced, but over the last few years invasives had become the dominant vegetation at the bioretention locations. APIPP staff oversaw the pulling of the non-native and invasive weeds done by USF and AWI watershed stewards.
Wild parsnip was among the eight invasive plants that were identified by APIPP at the launch. This plant can cause severe rashes and serious skin burns. Over 3,000 pounds of invasive plants and contaminated soil have been removed since the start of this project.