Invasive species are non-native flora and fauna that have been artificially introduced into a region.
These non-native species exhibit aggressive growth and often out-compete and displace native species. Invasive species can have a dramatic and damaging impact on our local environment and infrastructure – worse, they can cause severe injury to people and pets.
The Village of Lions Bay are proud sponsors of the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC), a non-profit society that strives to minimize the negative impacts invasive species along the Sea to Sky corridor. Visit the SSISC website for information on identifying invasive species, controlling their spread, participating in weed pulls, and much more!
Invasive species have already arrived in Lions Bay! Often they are transmitted through innocuous means:
- Invasive species can ‘hitch a ride’ on recreational vehicles, heavy equipment, clothing, and pet fur
- Invasive seeds can be transmitted by soil, straw, and mulch brought in to replenish or dress gardens or for landscaping
- Invasive seeds can be borne by wind and wave ultimately ending upon our shores; and
- They are oftentimes spread by unknowing people sharing attractive invasive plants with neighbours, family, and friends.
Some of the invasive plants found within the Sea to Sky corridor are toxic and considered biohazards! These invasives directly impact human and pet health. In addition to being toxic, many of these plants have additional negative impacts that include:
- reduction of native biodiversity and habitat;
- adversely affecting forage production and quality;
- and decreased water quality and quantity.
The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council has produced a brochure specifically dealing with these biohazards called Toxic Invasive Plants in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
All of us have a shared responsibility to safeguard the Village from invasive species. You can help preserve the Village of Lions Bay’s rich natural environment by adopting a few simple actions:
- Learn more about invasive species in our area. Visit the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council site to find out more about the invasives within our community
- Inspect your yard and garden for invasive plants - know which weeds to watch out for. If you find an invasive plant, remove it, place it in a garbage bag and take it to the nearest Metro Vancouver transfer station. Do not place it at the curb for pickup or in a composter, this just contributes to the seed spreading
- Do not purchase or plant invasive plants, instead search for native plants to fill the void in your garden
- Use a invasive free mulch as ground cover to help your yard or garden resist weed invasion
- Using mulch or non-invasive ground cover to help your yard resist weed invasion
- Become a weed warrior. Attend local activities like hand-pulling days
- Clean equipment, tools, vehicles and footwear before leaving an area that is infested with invasive plants
- Organize a "weed-free" space, like a local schoolyard or roadway
It is important to recognize and report sightings of invasive species in order to catch them before they overwhelm entire ecosystems. If you see an invasive plant, please report invasive species to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council by phone at (604) 935-7665 or on their website.
Invasive species are everyone’s problem, and need to be everyone’s solution. People are the largest spreader of invasive species. You can make a difference!
Having invasives on your property can be a huge problem. Not only are they harmful to the environment, some can damage foundations and driveways – and in some cases can pose a serious human safety risk. Several species are also considered “noxious weeds” meaning they are legislated by the provincial government and you are legally required to remove them if you have them on your property. Check out the handy list of provincially regulated noxious weeds at the Invasive Species Council of BC’s website.
Many invasive plants like ivy, holly and scotch broom, can be safely and effectively controlled manually and can be tackled on your own – remember, invasive species must be disposed of by taking them to the North Vancouver Transfer Station, not by placing them curbside for pickup.
Check out specific invasive plant species photos and information as well as the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council’s priority plants list for our region, to learn more about appropriate management techniques and considerations for each species. Please note that some species, such as knotweed species and giant hogweed, require special care or herbicide treatments and it is recommended that you hire a trained professional to remove them.
Contact the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council for site and species-specific recommendations and contracting options, or Download this Metro Vancouver Invasive Species Council flyer for tips on hiring a qualified contractor to take care of your invasives.