Turkey Point Beach gets hot on the last day of winter

The Ordnance Drive beach in Turkey Point went up in flames Tuesday afternoon as part of a prescribed burn to reduce invasive phragmites.The Turkey Point Phragmites Action Alliance Committee, previously known as the Beach Restoration Committee, has been working on getting the phragmites removed for several years.There are about 22 acres of land in Turkey Point covered in this invasive plant, which makes it difficult for other plants or animals to occupy the space.Darlene Vandepoele,  co-chair of the Turkey Point Phragmites Action Alliance Committee, credits Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp for pushing for the prescribed burn.“It is because of her perseverance of this issue that the burning has begun on this beach,” Vandepoele said.The success rate of burnings such as this is around 97 per cent when the three steps of removal are followed. The plants were sprayed with Roundup in October 2018, rolled earlier this month, and the burning began on Tuesday.“I remember telling my husband if we don’t try it’s never going to happen,” Vandepoele said while standing in front of the flames on Ordnance Drive.astaylor@postmedia.com

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