Local student researching invasive plant problem

Platzer’s project began back in 2012, when she approached the PRRDInvasive Plant Committee about her project “They’ve Invaded” which focuses on answering questions regarding how invasive plants arrive in the region.

Her presentation led to discussions with Invasive Plant Program Manager Elaine Armagost, who supported Platzer’s idea of raising awareness of how invasive plants arrive in the region.

“The increased ability of people to travel vast distances in short periods of time are worrisome to those who are engaged in managing invasive plants. We fully support Victoria’s project in raising awareness about how weeds are spread.”

After Armagost helped narrow the focus of the Bert Bowes student, Platzer began to collect samples of mud from parking lots, drying and screening them to determine if seeds were being moved through vehicular traffic.

By the conclusion of 2012, she had collected numerous samples, and contacted Kendrick Marr, Curator of Botany at the Royal B.C. Museum to help identify seeds located within her collected mud samples.

She brought a variety of germinated plants to Wednesday’s PRRD meeting in hopes of identifying some of the invasive plants.

Not only does she have the support of the PRRD, but Platzer was also recognized for her project in her local school science fair, and was recently selected to compete in the Regional Science Fair at North Peace Secondary on April 9. She hopes to gain enough support to eventually compete at the national level.

Platzer says the entire process has been a tremendous learning experience.

“My experience doing this project has been great. I have met some interesting people, and learned things I would have never learned otherwise. It has taught me that not only does hard work pay off, but also that if you try hard enough and put your mind to it you can do just about anything you want to. My experience doing this so far is unlike anything else that I’ve done before and I am glad that I got the chance to do it.”