'Perfect storm' turned lake into Weed City

If it seemed like there was a record amount of plants this past summer on Big Green Lake, that’s exactly right.

Welcome to Weed City.

In terms of overall plant proliferation, “We set an all-time record this summer,” said Charlie Marks, administrator of the Green Lake Sanitary District.

Not many folks keep stats on weed growth, but according to Marks’ calculation, the Sanitary District cut and hauled away more than 1 million pounds “from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which is pretty much our harvesting season,” he said.

They’re hauled away by the truckload, weighing about 2,000 pounds a crack.

“If I go back at the last 20 years, I would say we probably averaged around 300 truckloads cut per year, and I don’t see in the last 20 years where we have broken 500,” he said. “This year, we broke 700.”

So, 700-plus loads — times 2,000 pounds each — is at least 1.4 million pounds.

It was the same rough number of man hours as always, but just lots more weeds. But why this year?

Marks calls it “a perfect storm” of many different factors that were optimal for plant growth ... How many can you name? Continue reading in the Oct. 4 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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