Wanted: tough volunteers for tough invasive plant removal

Greenways Land Trust is continuing efforts to rehabilitate the Campbell River Estuary, with two events focused on removal of invasive plants

Greenways Land Trust is continuing efforts to rehabilitate the Campbell River Estuary, with two events in August focused on removal of two of the toughest invasive plants: Yellow Flag Iris and Blackberry.

Hardy volunteers are welcome for all or part of either evening: Thurs., Aug. 16 and Tues., Aug. 28 from 5-8 p.m.

“We recommend long sleeved shirts and pants to protect from thorns and residue from the Iris. Shorter, cooler, evening sessions were chosen for this tough work,” says Erin Nowak, Greenways Operation Manager. “$5,000 has been awarded to Greenways from the National Evergreen-Canon “Take Root” Program to remove these tough invasives and plant 300 trees to ensure they can’t come back.”

Yellow Flag Iris needs some strong digging arms notes Greenways Summer Student Megan Vlooswyk who had her first encounter with invasive plants while clearing iris from Baikie Island in June.

“It’s hard work, but I met some new people and felt so proud to see how great the area looked afterwards!” she said.

Sandra Milligan, Greenways director says that “nothing matches the satisfaction of clearing blackberries. Currently they grab at people as they walk down the end of Myrt Thompson Trail; it’s rewarding to have the tools to fight back. Estuaries are one of the world’s most productive ecosystems,” says Milligan, a NIC Biology instructor.  “The Canon Grant will allow us to replace large areas of monoculture with a much more diverse population of native plants that better supports the birds, the fish and all estuary organisms.”

Nowak is “thankful” for the work of volunteers at past Greenways Broom Bashes and for the partnership and support of the City Parks Department and Campbell River Indian Band.

“These were essential components to this successful grant application,” Nowak said.

Information will be coming soon on the Myrt Thompson Trail Tree Planting Event Sept. 22. For more information contact Greenways Land Trust (250) 287-3785, or Sandra Milligan (250) 204-2040.