201​7

Jun 09, 2017 Return to Headlines

Help Rid Coquitlam of Invasive Species

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC June 9, 2017 – The City of Coquitlam has made the control of invasive species, including Giant Hogweed, a priority due to the threat they pose to the natural ecosystem and human health.

Invasive species such as English Ivy, Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Morning Glory, Periwinkle and Yellow Lamium can take over the natural environment pushing out native plants and reducing and degrading habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.

Because these plants grow aggressively, adapt to different situations and are persistent in their spread, they can be expensive to control and eradicate.

How can residents help?

  • Learn how to identify Coquitlam’s common invasive plants and avoid planting or buying them. 
  • Be aware of Coquitlam’s pesticide use controls and which substances are restricted.
  • Never dump garden waste or hanging baskets into parks or natural areas.
  • Clean your boots and shoes to get rid of hitchhiking weed seeds before you hike in a new area to prevent these species invading a new area.
  • Volunteer to participate in a local weed pull event and help remove invasive plants from a Coquitlam park.
  • Contain or remove invasive plants on your property to prevent them from spreading.
  • Dispose of invas​ive plant material in your Green Cart with the exception of Giant Hogweed as its sap and stem can cause burns. It is best to let a professional remove this plant.

Giant Hogweed is a particular problem as it can cause injury to people. The sap contained in the hairs covering the plant and on the stem can cause severe burns if they come in contact with human skin. Growing to heights of up to 5.5m, Giant Hogweed can be identified by its white flower blooms and the stiff white hairs that cover most of the plant.

City staff monitors public lands for any signs of Giant Hogweed and ask residents to eliminate it from their properties. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/reporthogweed to report a Giant Hogweed sighting in Coquitlam.

Visit www.coquitlam.ca/badseed to learn more about how to identify these invasive species and how to remove them, including Hogweed, from your property, as well as find out about upcoming volunteering opportunities to remove plants from our public green spaces.

-30-

Media Contact:
Lanny Englund
Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager
604-927-6330
lenglund@coquitlam.ca