By David F. Rooney
The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming! It sounds like a joke, but the aliens are actually already here and there’s nothing funny about their effects on our environment.
From invasive plants like Japanese knotweed and Himalayan blackberry to animals like zebra mussels and carp the aliens are hard to stop. In fact, some, like hawkweed, have become so familiar to us they hardly seem like aliens.
Robyn Hooper, education and outreach officer for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, told City Council on Tuesday, July 22, that the organization is one 17 regional organizations dedicated to halting the spread of invasive species.
Founded in 2013, it has the financial support of BC Hydro, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Province of BC. It implement a collaborative and coordinated program with input and assistance from the following:
- BC Parks;
- City of Salmon Arm;
- City of Revelstoke;
- Columbia Shuswap Regional District;
- East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council;
- Fortis BC;
- Golden Community Resources Society;
- Golden and District Community Foundation;
- Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society;
- Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations;
- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure;
- North Columbia Environmental Society;
- Parks Canada;
- Salmon Arm Watershed Group;
- Shuswap Agricultural Advisory Group;
- Shuswap Environmental Advisory Group;
- Southern Interior Weed Management Committee;
- Town of Golden;
- Wildsight Golden;
- Independent contractors; and
- Interested residents.
Since its inception CSISS has organized community weed-pulls and native revegetation events, Hooper and CSISS Coordinator Natalie Stafl have held outreach events for the North Columbia Environmental Society’s Garden Guru program members and the Junior Naturalists program as well as invasive plant identification and data-entry training.
With an eye to educating, engaging and inspiring residents and others to participate in invasive plant management, Hooper has also reached out to area schools and will do more work with educators in the coming school year.
The next CSISS event in Revelstoke is a community weed pull scheduled for Friday, August 23. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at Kovach Park at 4:30 pm.
Please click here find out more about the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society at it’s website, which includes recipes for invasive plants.