Alien Invaders are Here!

By Contributor
March 17th, 2015

It’s almost Spring — the weeds will soon be flourishing.   Many noxious invasive weeds are busy taking over Rossland and environs:  Orange HawkweedJapanese Knotweed,  Burdock,  Spotted Knapweed, Common  Tansy, Hoary Alyssum,  Field Bindweed, and many more.  (Click on their names to learn more.)

Japanese Knotweed is very difficult to eradicate, and can damage house foundations — as well as growing through asphalt and concrete pavement.   Orange Hawkweed, though pretty, spreads insidiously by rhizomes as well as seeds, and is very difficult to remove once established.  If you have an infestation of it, try smothering it.    Burdock causes misery to animals — and humans, if burrs get caught in hair and clothing.   Hoary Alyssum can make horses ill, and makes farmers’ lives more difficult and less profitable — if any hoary alyssum is found in a crop of hay, buyers can (and do) refuse the hay.    Field bindweed strangles  and smothers garden crops; its roots can extend up to 30 feet into the earth, and its seeds can live for decades in the soil.

Many Rossland residents are unaware of the hazards of noxious weeds — if you’ve been too busy to learn about them, perhaps the Girl Guides can help soon. 

This year, the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) has teamed up with BC Girl Guides to create a new “Alien Invader Challenge” program that introduces girls and young women from age 5 to 18 to the harm that invasive species can cause and what they can do to limit their spread.

“We partnered with BC Girl Guides to create a comprehensive program to raise awareness and promote positive behaviour change related to invasive species,” says Susan Staniforth, Education Manager of ISCBC. “Guides are enthusiastic, engaged young people who spend time outside, and the “Invasive Species Challenge – Alien Invaders Challenge” will support them to be “eyes on the ground” for invasive species across BC.”

The  “Invasive Species Challenge – Alien Invaders”  introduces Girl Guides to native and invasive species, educates them about invasive species in their communities, and promote actions they can take. The girls find ways to have a positive impact on their communities by participating in activities that both educate the public and manage invasive species to help create a safe environment for native plant and animal species to thrive.

The Alien Invaders program includes all the necessary materials needed to carry out a variety of age-appropriate activities, including all instructions, worksheets, background research, identification cards, regional invasive species listings, activities, games and challenge requirements. Activities include scavenger hunts, making local field guides, invasive species tag, invader puppet-making, creating an invasive plant ‘wanted’ poster, field trips to identify and map invasive species, and a community weed pull.

There is no shortage of invasive weeds in Rossland for the Girl Guides to find, learn about and point out to local residents, and to pull.  Keep noxious invasive weeds from living in or near your yard, and keep them from spreading  to help yourself, our native wildlife — and your neighbours.  Let’s all pull together!  

About the Invasive Species Council of BC

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is working to minimize the negative ecological, social, and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of BC’s natural ecosystems. For more information or to find your local invasive species committee visit www.bcinvasives.ca.

Categories: Education

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