The city needs to take action against invasive plant species
There are invasive plant species along the NST and the city that are choking out native plants. Our native plants are important for pollination and healthy waterways as well as for creating natural habitat for many species of birds and insects. Phragmites, garlic mustard and dog straggling vine are just a few of the invasives we have that are challenging to eradicate. Cities all over the province are dealing with this problem. This problem will get harder to manage the longer it is neglected. Barrie needs solid policy and an action plan to eliminate this threat to our natural environment spaces across the city. We call upon city staff and City Council to make this a priority when budget planning.
Significant work is scheduled to start on the Climate Change Action Strategy in 2020, subject to approval of the resources for staff to develop a plan and action the issue. The strategy has a recommendation to “develop partnerships and funding strategies to control invasive species”. In the interim, staff are mapping and monitoring known locations of invasive species. The full report is available online at www.barrie.ca/ClimateChange
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Gwen Petreman commented
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You probably already heard that Ford has slashed funding to 9 ecological groups.
The one organization that was hit the hardest was the Ontario Invasive Plant Council.
Without any warning or consultations, Ford slashed their budget from $100,000 to zero!
This axing could not come at a worse time as the Council in partnership with Conservation Authorities, Nature Groups, Hunters and Anglers have been experimenting to come up with best practices to eliminate aggressive and highly invasive phragmites.
This Eurasian invasive grass can grow to be 5 metres tall!
It is considered the worst invasive plant in Ontario as it has the most catastrophic impacts on wetlands and it is the most difficult to eradicate.
It forces out native plant species as it secretes toxins from its roots into the soil and surrounding area
* they spread aggressively across beaches and wetlands
* block shoreline views and landscapes
*rob fish and wildlife of nutrients
* they break up road beds
*they clog drain pipe
* increase flooding and soil erosion
*trigger forest fires
* threaten at-risk species like turtles
* they create cloudy and low quality water-silted spawning beds
*reduce access to swimming and fishing
As soon as patches are discovered they must be eradicated as soon as possible.
The longer they are left to grow and infest an area, the more difficult and more costly will be the removal process.
The eradication of phragmites cannot be undertaken by volunteers as the process is very specialized and complex.
All the attempts at eradication require research, experimentation, time, and money.
Now that there is no money available, phrgamites will spread like wildfire and wreak havoc across our wetlands and beaches.
I will repeat what Belinda Junkin, the Executive Director of the OIPC warned, ”The longer they are left to get settled, the greater the cost to remove them.”
And it goes without saying, time only will tell, the cost to the ecological health of our wetlands and beaches.
Here in Barrie we have serious, dense infestations , wherever you see a low ditch- like land formation and in most wetland areas.
Basically, we need the City to work in partnership with Nature Groups, Environmental Groups, Conservation Groups, and concerned citizens.
You can help to make sure the Council adds this initiative to their agenda by voting on the Barrie site.
You have 3 votes per person for each item.
Right now the site has 315 votes.
We need 500 votes to make sure that Council addresses this very serious
invasive infestation before it become uncontrollable.
I have discovered a small patch of Japanese knotweed on the Rail Trail, north side, a block west of Vancouver. To whom do I report this?
As of August 2017 there was a large stand of phragmites in one of the ponds in Heritage Park. Would love to see staff trained on how to remove this!!! Or it could even be a volunteer project. Could be taken care of in a few hours.
Carol Dunk commented
This is a very worthy project that needs to be acted on as soon as possible. Every season that it is put off reduces the area that can be used by native birds, insects and small mammals.
NST stands for North Shore Trail. It is the trail that runs along the north side of the lake in the east end of Barrie.