2015

Jun 03, 2015 Return to Headlines

Help Rid Coquitlam of Invasive Species

by Kevin Henkelman |

COQUITLAM, BC, June 3, 2015 – The City of Coquitlam has made the eradication of invasive species, including Giant Hogweed, a priority due to a threat to the natural ecosystem and human health.

Invasive species such as English Ivy, Yellow Lamium, Periwinkle, Morning Glory, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed take over the natural environment push out native plants and reduce and degrade habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. They are expensive to control and eradicate. These plants grow aggressively, adapt to different situations and are persistent in their spread.

Giant Hogweed is a particular problem as it can cause injury to people. The sap contained in the hairs covering the plant and in the stem can cause severe burns when in contact with human skin. City staff monitors public lands for any signs of Giant Hogweed and are asking residents to eliminate it from their properties.

Coquitlam has been progressive with its initiatives to stop the introduction and spread of invasive species through its Bad Seed program and the passing of the Noxious Weed Bylaw No. 4181, 2010, which regulates and prevents the spread of noxious weeds. Residents can visit www.coquitlam.ca/badseed for information to help prevent the spread invasive plants and learn about recommended alternatives.

Growing quickly 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 encourages residents to review information available through Worksafe BC (www.worksafebc.com) regarding proper personal protective gear if they plan to remove Giant Hogweed themselves, or seek assistance from a qualified and experienced landscape professional.

Visit www.coquitlam.ca/hogweed to report on-line a Giant Hogweed sighting in Coquitlam and for safety tips for removing this plant from your property.

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For more information, please contact:
Lanny Englund
Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager
P: 604-927-6330