Below are some ways you can prevent the spread of invasive species:
Help control invasive plants in your community by joining a volunteer group or event. Many stewardship groups, parks and nature reserves organize volunteer weed removal efforts. It's a great opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, make some friends and help make a difference!
- Be Aware - learn to recognize the most common invasive plants in Metro Vancouver and keep an eye out for any new plants that may seem invasive.
- Know What You Plant- do some research before planting an unfamiliar plant and avoid purchasing species known to be invasive. Be careful when buying or trading seeds on the internet.
- Dispose Properly - do not return your household or garden plants to the wild! Never throw hanging baskets or other plant materials into natural areas or your backyard compost bin. Use your green waste bin to dispose of yard waste, including invasive plants.
- Manage Your Soils - an ounce of prevention goes a long way! Be a farmer in your own backyard and properly care for your grass/soils by managing pH and fertilizing regularly. Invasive plants thrive in nutrient deficient, acidic soils. They are a great indicator of poor soil condition. Some species will disappear after fertilization.
- Remove your invasive plants – Educate yourself about how to properly control and dispose of your target plants. You don't want all of your hard work to be in vain and some species require the help of a professional. Before doing the prescribed control work, be sure you have a plan of what you intend to put in the place of the plants your remove so they are discouraged from returning!
Here on the West Coast, we are famous for our beautiful natural areas. Help protect one of our greatest assets with the following simple steps:
- Travelling: Always inform border officials of any plants or plant parts that you bring into or out of Canada.
- Hiking and Camping: Implement a Play, Clean, Go approach and wash your boots, mountain bike, ATV, equipment, and/or clothing before leaving the recreation area.
- Just look - do not pick wildflowers and take them home with you, you may be bringing home weeds!
- Stay on the trail - avoid disturbing natural areas by staying on established trails.
- Boating and Fishing: Clean, Drain, Dry your boat! Wash down your boat and equipment before boating in a new waterway. Drain all water from bait buckets, live-wells, pumps, motors, and bilges onto land and remove drain plugs. Dry all items completely before launching the watercraft into another body of water.
Spread the Word
You can help us "stop the spread" by spreading the word. You can:
- Share the story about invasive species with friends, family and neighbours.
- Support local nurseries that promote native plants and non-invasive exotics.
- If you see nurseries selling invasive plants, inform them of it, or let us know. They may not be aware that a plant is invasive, or they may be responding to market demand. Let them know you would like to see non-invasive alternatives. As a consumer, you have a lot of influence over which plants are sold in the nursery trade!