Why it matters
The spread of invasive plant species is a serious threat to biodiversity world-wide, second only to habitat loss. This matters because biodiversity loss and the resulting imbalance in nature have wide ranging environmental, social and economic effects, and if left uncontrolled can have serious local impacts in the City’s parks, public spaces, environmentally sensitive areas, and private lands. Management of invasive plant species is identified as a priority action in the SCR Framework: Campbell River’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan and contributes to the City's obligations to control noxious weed imposed by the provincial Weed Control Act. For more information on the City's role in managing invasive species, please see the City's Invasive Species Policy, and the Invasive Plant Management Plan.
The City is also in the final stages of amending the Environmental Protection Bylaw to regulate defined noxious weeds, including all four knotweeds, giant hogweed and yellow flag iris and invasive plants including Scotch broom, by restricting planting and required removal.
What's being done
Currently in Campbell River, Greenways Land Trust has been leading the charge to control noxious weeds and invasive plants through education, work parties and events and they play a particularly active role in the Campbell River estuary. Under the umbrella of the City maintenance contract for Baikie Island, Greenways and their conservation partners have been digging out the noxious yellow-flag iris by hand and machine for a number of years allowing diverse and rare plant communities to return. Scotch broom and blackberry control along Myrt Thompson trail have also been a Greenways focus.
Knotweeds are another noxious plant that is being controlled in the community through an annual contract through Greenways Land Trust. Greenways works with landowners, neighbours and a certified pesticide applicator to treat knotweed infestations, primarily on public owned environmentally sensitive lands.
In recent years, Campbell River BroomBusters has been working tirelessly when "Broom is in Broom" to reduce coverage of this invasive shrub in our parks and along road corridors. Volunteers meet weekly during the bloom and they partner with the Rotarians for one very large cutting event each season. Beginning in 2018, the City initiated funding for additional broom removal on City owned lands. Greenways Land Trust is administering this contract and working with BroomBusters and other organizations to maximize removal efforts.
Need more information on invasive plants? Check out the Coastal Invasive Species Committee and the Invasive Species Council of BC to find out more.