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Overall 28 grants totalling over $1.7 million were given to local governments and committees across the province. The funding is intended to support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program, which identifies locations of invasive plant species and helps contain and get rid off newly discovered invasive plant species before they become established and begin spreading.

Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species and can cause considerable economic or environmental damage. Such plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

Tom Wells, chair of the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia says, “By stopping the spread, we reduce future ongoing management costs and resource losses and help protect our natural landscapes. Reducing the spread of invasive plants and species cannot be achieved by a single agency – we all need to work together.”

Some of the worst right now are orange and yellow non-native hawkweeds, garlic mustard, cordgrasses and knotweed. Others include knapweed, giant hogweed, black henbane, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam and Scotch broom.

The PRRD is already working to battle these plants, by providing a free disposal system at local landfills, including designated bins.

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