chestnuts 82822 400 91422Water-chestnut gathering at Res. / Photos by Charu TevaliThe water-chestnut clearing at the Arlington Reservoir on  Aug. 28 drew more than 30 volunteers as well as Reservoir Committee members and David Morgan, Arlington’s conservation agent.

The turnout cheered participants."We had a diversity of volunteers, from very young newbies to experienced veterans," one said.  

PaddleBoston, a part of the Charles River Canoe and Kayak Association, provided nine canoes for the effort. In addition, those involved deployed two kayaks and a rowboat, used to monitor and assist during volunteer activities.

Volunteers filled baskets in their canoes with water chestnuts.  Others raked water chestnuts from the shoreline. The collected water chestnuts were then added to the already large pile in the spillway derived from the earlier mechanical harvesting. There, they dewatered, awaiting removal for proper disposal.  

After some 2 1/2 hours of effort, the volunteers had cleared more than 200 baskets of water chestnuts from the lower part of the Arlington Reservoir.

A person and a child on a raft in the waterA picture containing grass, outdoor, tree, watercraftAll involved thanked Boston volunteers as well as the Mystic River Watershed Association. They trained volunteers on how to clear water chestnuts, put the committee in touch with PaddleBoston and publicized the event. 

Water chestnuts (Trapa natans) are an exotic invasive species that, unchecked, can entirely cover the surface of a water body. Earlier this summer, mechanical harvesting had removed a significant amount of them from the Res; however, many still remained, mostly in the more shallow areas, where the machine could not reach. 

 A person holding a fishA picture containing water, outdoor, boat, sky.

This news feature by Johanna Meyer and David White was published Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.