What’s in your garden?

Monday is the start of BC Invasive Species Week and residents are urged  to learn how to identify invasive species that may be in their own backyards or hiding in the bilges of their boats.

Invasive species are easy to report with the Report-A-Weed App, available for iPhone and Android smartphones at www.reportaweedbc.ca.

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) collaboraes with regional invasive plant/species committees that offer a range of public programs to prevent the spread of invasives. For more information on the regional committee in your area, visit www.bcinvasives.ca/general/regional-committees, said a statement from the council.

You can mark Invasive Species Week by checking your property for invasive plants, then removing them and replacing them with similar native species. To help you make this transition, the PlantWise pilot program this summer is being launched to prevent the further introduction and spread of invasive plants. You may not realize this, but invasive plants continue to be sold in many nursery and gardening outlets across BC. They are also traded as seeds, transplants or starter plants by gardening and landscaping enthusiasts. Over 58% of invasive plants arrive in Canada as landscape plants, ornamentals, agricultural crops or plants for medicinal and research purposes, and can become so abundant and widespread that they out-compete native plants with economic, social, and environmental impacts. Make sure that you are not spreading these unwanted seeds, the statement said.

Before taking your boat out this summer, make sure you know how to properly clean, drain, dry (CDD) your boat to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives. This summer marks the second year of the CDD program, and staff are on the ground in five high risk regions in the province – the Fraser Valley, South-Central Okanagan,  North-Central Okanagan, the Shuswap, and the Central Kootenays. The CDD program reduces the spread of  acquatic invasives by educating boaters and the general public. If boaters follow the simple CDD program they can stop current infestations from spreading and increase the likelihood that no new invasive species will invade our waters. Once an invasive species has colonized, the negative impacts can range from a reduction in natural habitat for wildlife, and limited access to lakes for recreational users due to the hazards posed by invasive species.

For more information please contact the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) at 250-683-9992 or send an e-mail to csinvasives@gmail.com.