Ways To Take Action Against Invasive Plants

Invasive plants pose a significant threat to our community’s biodiversity. These weeds may seem innocuous, but they cause ecological and economic harm. You may have noticed some of these attractive weeds around town: Orange Hawkweed, Oxeye Daisy, and Western Goat’s- beard. Soon these pretty flowers will turn into seeds and continue to spread throughout our community. Now is the time to act.

On an individual level, you can take action by learning more about the invasive plants present in our community. Wildsight Golden’s Community Invasive Plant Program (CIPP) is supported by the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS). The CSISS website is an excellent resource for landowners, trail users, and gardeners to learn about how they can prevent the spread of invasive plants in our region.

Locally, the CIPP coordinator, Martha Fowlie-Neufeld, will be at the Golden Farmer’s Market on July 6th, July 27th, and August 17th. Community members are invited to bring their invasive plants (or a photo of the weed) to Wildsight Golden’s table at Farmers Market to learn more about invasive plant identification and non-toxic control methods.

Identification is the first step and weed management comes next. Wildsight Golden is encouraging community members to use mechanical and cultural methods to control invasive species.

Mechanical methods are non-chemical techniques used to limit growth and seed production. These manual methods include digging, hand-pulling, mowing, cutting, solarization, and tarping. Timing is critical when it comes to treating weeds mechanically. So too is plant identification, as certain mechanical methods can encourage vegetative growth (Common Tansy will respond to mowing in this way). Mechanical control is most effective when combined with cultural control.

One way to culturally manage invasive plants is to sow native plants to compete with the invasive species. With certain infestations, the removal of invasive plants results in areas of exposed ground. These disturbed areas are prime areas for invasive plants to grow, so it’s important to revegetate the site with native ground cover.

On a community level, you can take action by joining Wildsight’s 15th Annual Community Weed Pull event. This year, the Community Weed Pull will take place at Alexander Drive Park. The event is scheduled for Thursday, July 7th, from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm. This family-friendly event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about invasive plants. Participants will learn about how to identify, control, and properly dispose of invasive plants.

Wildsight Golden will provide volunteers with tools, bags, and a complimentary pizza dinner! Please bring your own water bottle to reduce plastic waste.

If you are interested in participating, please RSVP by emailing wildsightweedprogram@gmail.com by Wednesday, July 6th, or register at the Wildsight Golden table at the Farmers’ Market also on Wednesday, July 6th.