What are invasive species?
Invasive species are foreign plants and animals that grow out of control in parks, gardens, and other areas. In their natural habitat they have predators and competitors that keep them in check. However, in a new place with no natural controls they grow unchecked in natural and urban areas.
Why are invasive species a problem?
Invasive species have lasting economic, social, and environmental consequences, such as:
- Lower habitat values for wildlife. Invasive species can displace native ones that wildlife depend on for food, shade, and shelter.
- Reduced crop yields and crop quality.
- Reduced streamside stability may occurr with some invasive plants.
- Reduced aesthetic and recreational values as invasive plants diminish natural beauty and decrease the diversity of plants and animals in an area.
- Increased costs to the City of Chilliwack and private property owners to restore areas affected by invasive species. This includes parks, yards, roadways, sidewalks, and other infrastructure.
How can you help?
The City’s “Weed Control Bylaw” states that no property owner shall permit or allow their parcel to become overgrown with noxious weeds. You can help by:
- Learning how to identify Chilliwack’s common invasive plants and animals
- Avoid relasing pets into wild spaces.
- Avoiding planting invasive species or contain them in pots to prevent their spread.
- Taking measures to properly remove invasive plants from your property in a way that does not allow them to spread.
- Properly disposing of your garden clippings, hanging baskets, and other yard waste. Do not dump your yard waste in City parks or greenbelts – it is illegal! Do not place live invasive plants like knotweeds in your home composter.
- Connecting with environmental groups and volunteer to remove invasive plants from natural areas.
- If noxious weeds are identified on your property, a Bylaw Enforcement Officer may issue a Removal Notice to ensure the plants are dealt with responsibly.
The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) also plays an active role in identifying and removing “invasive” (non-native) plant species, such as tansy ragwort and giant hogweed. More information is available at the FVRDs noxious weed page.