Confederation Park pond choked with invasive grasses, meets its match


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator
Team from Weed B’ Gone used an amphibious vehicle to remove 16 Dumpsters worth of phragmites grass
September 24th, 2019 by Barry Gray The Hamilton Spectator

There is a large pond in Confederation Park, just east of the park entrance.
But no one would blame you if you missed it while passing by this summer.
The pond was completely filled with phragmites, a non-native invasive species of tall grass. The grass, which can grow to over 4 metres in height, is a wetland bully. It grows quickly, chokes out all other plants, takes away nesting sites for birds, and, once established, is hard to get rid of.

But the phragmites met their match this week. For the past 12 days, Weeds B' Gone, a company from Cobourg, Ont., has been hard at work clearing the pond. They use a MobiTrac — an amphibious vehicle developed in the Netherlands — to cut the weeds, collect them, and remove them from the water to a waiting dumpster. For several hours each day, Nick DeMarco churns across the water, cutting and lifting baskets of grasses before heading back to shore. The MobiTrac is equally at home on water or land, making the job of removal simpler.

As DeMarco and friends Mike Brooks and Tyler Robinson wrap up this week, the pond looks, once again, like a pond. "When we started, I could barely drive into the water, the grass was so thick," says DeMarco.

By the middle of last week, the guys were at 16 Dumpsters and counting. Once finished, DeMarco estimates they will have removed close to 22 tonnes of grasses.

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