CVC hosts ‘remove invasive plants’ at Island Lake Conservation Area

September 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has hosted an invasive plant removal event at Island Lake Conservation Area, helping to keep the natural area healthy for wildlife.

The event took place last Saturday (Sept. 8) and saw CVC staff and volunteers comb the north end of the conservation area, removing invasive and unnatural plants that can introduce disease or cross-breed with native species and impact wildlife.

“Plants that are not native to our area, they are causing determent to our ecosystem,” said Lorraine Chung of the CVC.

Ms. Chung said the event, the third this year at Island Lake, has been going on for several years, this time targeting buckthorn and honeysuckle.

“The idea is to remove the plants, and create more room for native plants to come in and grow, creating more biodiversity in their ecosystem,” she said. “With more biodiversity, it creates more wildlife habitat, and provides more ecosystem goods and services for our community.”

One invasive plant that Ms. Chung says they have found commonly at this event is garlic mustard. “Those ones are particularly tricky because they tend to grow from their roots, and they tend to create this chemical that they secrete into the soil, which makes it harder for other plants to grow in the soil near them.”

Another plant is the dog-strangling vine, which she explained that monarch butterflies mistake for common milkweed. “When they hatch they can’t feed on it (dog strangling vine), so it’s an issue for our species at risk.”

Ms. Chung added that once the plants are removed it takes a few years to rehabilitate and grow natural plants. “While the large buckthorn plants are removed, we do still see young saplings coming out.” Some of the natural plants they establish include polar, pine, dogwood, and nannyberry.

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