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Welcome & News Blog

Welcome to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, a non-profit society that works to minimize the negative impacts caused by invasive species on the south coast of British Columbia, Canada, in cooperation with organizations, First Nations, governments and industry.

Breanne Johnson - Wed Nov 04, 2015 @ 02:38PM
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Our Fall newsletter was just sent out and is full of some great resources, articles, upcoming events, photos and thank you's to our field staff and funders. You can view it here

To receive newsletters right to your inbox, subscribe to our news mailing list on our homepage (to your right >>>>>)

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Breanne Johnson - Tue Nov 03, 2015 @ 04:14PM
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Further information about the Yellow Flag Iris Patrol program here

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Breanne Johnson - Tue Nov 03, 2015 @ 04:02PM
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Breanne Johnson - Mon Oct 19, 2015 @ 01:55PM
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Naturespeak: Dumping garden waste not as eco-friendly as you might think

By Breanne Johnson

Full article here

PHOTO SUBMITTED - yellow lamium Yellow Lamium is highly invasive and small fragments easily take root when dumped into a nearby forest or over the side of a dike.
  • YELLOW LAMIUM Yellow Lamium is highly invasive and small fragments easily take root when dumped into a nearby forest or over the side of a dike.

It's that time of year again, and many of you with a green thumb will be looking for somewhere to dispose of your garden green waste.

I can dump my garden clippings and lawn trimmings over my back fence, right? Aren't I just feeding it back into the ecosystem where it will decompose and turn into dirt? And aren't I being extra green reducing my carbon footprint by saving a trip to the dump?


Unfortunately, disposing of garden waste over the fence or into the nearby forest, is one of the main ways that invasive plants are dispersed and spread, creating a heap of problems bigger than the waste you tossed.

Many of the pretty plants growing in your yard are non-native, exotic species planted for landscaping purposes.

Plants in gardens and yards are often chosen for their resilience to environmental conditions, fast growth, or ability to climb up fences or cover large areas of exposed ground.

The characteristics that make them attractive to gardeners are also what allow them to invade and negatively impact our natural ecosystems.

Japanese Knotweed is a fast growing plant that aggressively invades ecosystems by shading and outcompeting native species. It causes erosion and damages foundations and infrastructure with its aggressive root system. Knotweed is found throughout Squamish residential areas, and is able to sprout from a tiny piece of stem or root the size of your fingernail.

Tossing a bag of garden waste containing even the smallest of fragments can cause a new infestation.

Yellow Lamium is found in many planters and hanging baskets. It spreads by runner and rhizome, and plant clippings easily take root when dumped onto the ground.

Many trails and parks behind residential areas in the Sea to Sky have been taken over by Lamium, which creeps across the forest floor, smothering the native plant understory.

Highly tolerant of shade, its growth knows no limit.

The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council field crews and volunteers work hard all summer removing invasive plants like Lamium and Knotweed that are causing problems just beyond our backyards. Many of these infestations originated from a mound of old garden waste.

Not only is the dumping of garden waste environmentally damaging, it is also illegal. Bylaws in Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton all prohibit the action and are enforceable with fines.

So, what should I do with my garden waste?

  • Go to ssisc.info to learn which plants in your garden are invasive;
  • Sort your garden waste, placing the invasive plant material into a sealed garbage bag, to prevent any seeds or plant fragments from escaping during transport;
  • Take the waste to your local transfer station. Any invasive plant material should be placed in the dedicated invasive species bins at the Squamish landfill and Callaghan transfer station, whilst general yard waste can go in the organics bin. A bit of effort goes a long way to help stop the spread!
  • Whistler's free fall waste drop off is from Oct. 16 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Property owners can drop off their yard waste for free in an area adjacent to the Nesters Waste Depot.
  • Garden debris burning is Oct. 15 to 30. Homeowners must obtain a fire permit in person at municipal hall.
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    Breanne Johnson - Mon Oct 19, 2015 @ 10:35AM
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    Imagine a day dedicated to giving back … around the world, across Canada and in your own community! Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season.

    What is GivingTuesday?

    GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. After the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, GivingTuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back.

    The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council is a part of Sea to Sky Gives -our local civic movement for giving back to charities and non-profit societies in the Sea to Sky corridor. Visit the SSISC Giving Tuesday page to donate and help minimize the impacts of invasive species in the Sea to Sky, or share this post to spread the word!

    The field crew working hard to remove Yellow Flag Iris, and invasive species which takes over wetlands, clogging waterways, and reducing native biodiversity. During summer 2015 the SSISC field crew removed all known patches from the Squamish estuary, the River of Golden Dreams, Alta and Green lakes, and many other wetlands throughout the sea to sky!

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    Breanne Johnson - Wed Sep 09, 2015 @ 10:58AM
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    Invasive species impact the ecology of mountain parks. They can crowd out native plants, reduce biodiversity, degrade wildlife habitat, cause erosion, and impact water quality. Many of them are unpalatable for wildlife, and as they increase in numbers they push out native species that are food for the local herbivores. Invasive plant seeds and other fragments are easily spread by humans; on our feet, the wheels of our car, the hull of our boat, and the tires of our mountain bike, to name a few. There are many invasive species growing in the Diamond Head parking lot at the trailhead to Garibaldi Provincial Park. Yellow lamium, Common burdock, St. John's-Wort, and Oxeye daisy have all invaded the area. Removing these invasives will prevent them from spreading up the trails and into the alpine where sensitive wildflower ecosystems exist. You can help to reduce the impact of invasive species on our mountain parks by coming out to the Community Weed Pull Sunday September 20th 2:00-4:00pm. Everyone is welcome to come learn how to identify local invasives, and get some hands on experience removing them while helping to protect our park from invasion. Tools, refreshments, and snacks will be provided! Bring gardening gloves if you have them.

    Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park - Diamond Head Parking Lot (this is the parking lot for the Red Heather meadows and Elfin lakes hike).

    Directions: Follow Mamquam Road east from highway 99, and through an industrial area. Where the gravel road forks; turn left onto Garibaldi Park rd. It is 14.5km from highway 99 to the upper parking lot at 950m elevation where the weed pull will take place. The road is gravel and can easily be driven by 2 wheel drive vehicles.

    See you there! 

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    Breanne Johnson - Mon Aug 24, 2015 @ 02:36PM
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    We would like to extend a huge thanks to the Community Foundation of Whistler and the American Friends of Whistler for their generous support which allowed us to purchase this tent, table cover, table, and display material. We are so much more effective in delivering educational material at public events with this fantastic looking set-up! It was put to good use at our recent Invasive Species Community Information Session and Pemberton Farmers Market. Come visit us at the upcoming "Crafty by Nature" event in Whistler this Saturday August 31st, the Squamish Farmer's Market the following Saturday (Sept 5th), and the next Saturday (Sept 12th) at the Brackendale Fall Fair. 

    Breanne and Kalenna set up and ready to spread awareness and offer advice about invasive species at our recent Community Information Session.

    Spreading the word at the Pemberton Farmers Market.

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    Breanne Johnson - Tue Aug 11, 2015 @ 03:34PM
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    See this Whistler Question news article for more hype about the new Pemberton's 5 Worst Weeds campaign launch. 

    "A lot of people are aware of the environmental impacts, but not the agricultural impacts,” said Clare Greenberg, executive director of the SSISC. “This is an attempt to boost that depth of understanding and help the farming community of Pemberton in the battle against invasive species. - See more at: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/news/pemberton/cam...

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    Breanne Johnson - Fri May 29, 2015 @ 12:46PM
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