I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Upcoming Events & Invasive Plant Brochure

I received an email from the volunteer coordinator of the Mt. Doug work parties, which contained a newsletter released by the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee (CIPC).  Among other things it contained a link to a brochure (CIPC Brochure) that I thought was very useful. 

It outlines how the Invasive Plan Council of BC defines invasive species, why they are a threat, and the various economic, environmental, and ecosystem impacts, among others.  It also includes pictures of some of the 'priority invasive plants' found on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast.  It is a two page brochure that is well worth the read for any gardener, or nature lover.  If I could go back in time I would love to talk some sense into the person who planted a spreading, ivy like plant in my yard.

This variegated leaf plant dies back in the winter, but rises again in the Spring.  I have dug it out of certain areas in my garden, but it stretches along most of the length of my backyard, has moved forward into my grass, and is very persistent.  Its roots are long and spaghetti-like, reaching way down into the soil, and spreading out sideways.  If I leave even a hint of root a new plant pops up healthy as ever.  My only hope is to keep it under control in the areas it is most prevalent, and hope that I can stop it from spreading further.

I am a much more selective shopper at gardening stores now.  I stay away from ivy-like plants, or types that boast of qualities such as fast spreading.  Having a beautiful, diverse garden is possible without using these types of plants.  Also, just think of the amount of labour involved if you plant them, they flourish, and then you change your mind.  You might get rid of it, eventually, but you will wish that you had taken the time to consider your choice more carefully.

Also included in the newsletter was a section about upcoming events.  I will list them briefly below.

LECTURE: "Humboldt Who?  The Two Century, Two Tradition Quest for Living Ecosystems".  Admission is Free. Everyone is Welcome.  Tuesday, February 15, 7:30 at the Swan Lake Nature House.  Adolf Ceska – 250-477-1211

EVENT: Central Vancouver Island Botanical Society’s 16th Annual Spring Garden Festival Celebration of Island Growing Show. Takes place in Nanaimo from March 11-13. Click here for more details, which will take you to the Central Vancouver Island Botanical Garden Society website.

WORKSHOP: 'Cut It Out' Invasive Plant Workshop Series in Burnaby.  This is a three part workshop series taking place over three Saturdays in April (2nd, 9th, and 16th).  To register click here, which will take you to the City of Burnaby WebReg.  For more information, call 604-294-7690 or email invasiveplants@burnaby.ca.

EVENT: Ecological Effects of Invasive Plants: Western Society of Weed Science Symposium.  This one takes place on March 10, 2011 at the DoubleTree City Center Hotel, Spokane, WA. Registration fee is $75.00.  For more information contact: Phil Banks, WSWS Business Manager 575-527-1888 or wsws.  For online registration information you can click here to go to the Western Society of Weed Science website.@marathonag.com

If anyone gets a chance to attend any of these events I would be interested to hear how they were.  Looks like all of them will be great opportunities for learning.  I am hoping to catch the one at Swan Lake if there is still room.

Take care.

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