Audubon Needs Volunteers to Pull Water Chestnuts, Saturday, July 14

Audubon Needs Volunteers to Pull Water Chestnuts, Saturday, July 14

Contributed Article
Audubon Community Nature Center

Jamestown, N.Y. – Summer in Chautauqua County means Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) must again attack the European Water Chestnut that first appeared in 2013.

Audubon will be hosting a major Water Chestnut pull to remove it from ACNC’s Big Pond on Saturday, July 14, from 9 a.m. until noon. Lunch will be served afterward.

The European Water Chestnut can cover a water body so densely it chokes out other plants and animal life. A different species from the water chestnut that can be purchased in cans, in its native habitat in Europe, Asia and Africa, the plant is kept in check by local insect parasites not found in North America.

Much of Audubon’s 600-acre wetland preserve is comprised of a series of ponds, making it dangerously vulnerable to the annual invader. With the help of a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Audubon staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly since its first appearance to control its infestation and prevent it from spreading to other waterways in the region, including Conewango Creek and Chautauqua Lake.

Audubon Senior Naturalist Jeff Tome reported that, “Western New York PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) staff recently spent two days pulling water chestnut out of our waterways, so we are off to a good start already this summer.”

Tome noted that one 20-acre pond at Audubon that took weeks to clear of Water Chestnut five years ago was cleared in a single morning this year. “With enough staff and volunteer help, the problem is getting easier to handle each year.”

To participate in the Big Pull on July 14, email Water Chestnut Coordinator Tiffany Donaldson at or call (716) 569-2345.

Western New York PRISM is a regional partnership created to address the negative impacts of invasive species on our economy, environment, and human health. With offices in the Great Lakes Center at SUNY Buffalo State, their collaborative approach to invasive species management includes local citizens, private landowners, non-profit organizations, state, federal, tribal, and local agencies, business, researchers and universities. More information can be found at

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit the Programs page at

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.

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