October 4, 2012- A helicopter will be flying over Presque Isle State Park on Wednesday, October 10th applying herbicide to 170 acres of land that is inundated with the invasive plant species Narrow-leaf Cattail and Phragmite. The presence of these plants is damaging to the native plants as well as the overall habitat and ecosystem health on the park. If the work isn't completed by dusk on the 10th, the work will continue on the morning of October 11th until it is completed.
The park will be closed east of the Stull Interpretive Center from October 9th at 9pm until the work is completed. The public will be able to access the western portion of the park from the entrance to the Stull Center during the application period.
This work is being done as part of an inclusive project to remove invasive plants from Presque Isle. Over the summer, park interns and staff members worked to push back invasive plants on over 450 acres of park land. They pushed back the plants by pulling, digging, cutting, or treating them with herbicide. The largest areas of infested areas can't be controlled effectively by people on the ground, so the helicopter will assist with the application of herbicide in these areas.
All of the chemicals utilized in this treatment process are labeled for aquatic use, meaning they have been tested in aquatic environment and pose little to no risk to aquatic species. All of the treatment areas have been permitted for the application of herbicide by the PA Fish and Boat Commission as well as the PA Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information about this, or other programs, please call the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) at (814)-833-7424. The park office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset for hiking and other environmentally-related activities.