On November 9, 2023, the Waterloo Wetland Lab held its second annual Wetland Cleanup near Fischer-Hallman Road and Columbia Street in Waterloo.

Armed with gloves and garbage bags, a dedicated group of volunteers sifted through the wetlands, collecting 20 bags full of trash. This waste could have found its way into nearby watersheds, posing a severe threat to plants and animals.

The site is particularly significant as PhD student Claire Schon uses the area to study invasive plant species. Schon's work is part of the broader pilot program in North America for the biological control of invasive Phragmites australis that threaten wetland biodiversity and integrity, making the cleanup essential to ongoing environmental studies. Frustrated by the amount of litter built up in her study site, the Waterloo Wetland Lab decided to do something about it.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to every volunteer who dedicated their time and energy to improving our local environment and making a difference in our community! 

Woman in teal coat holding up a trash bag in a wetland.

Claire Schon (she/her) PhD in Biology student