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Scotch broom: not your typical plant for the Kootenay region

It's time to get the weeds out.

And with that in mind, students from Trafalgar Secondary School and the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife program of Selkirk College will descend on Kokanee Creek Provincial Park this Monday, Sept. 26 (9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) to being pulling the invasive species.

With funding from the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network and the BC Parks Community Legacy Fund, the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee (CKIPC) will engage students in controlling invasive plants at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

They will learn about invasive species that impact Kokanee Creek Provincial Park and the surrounding area, such as Scotch broom and Eurasian water-milfoil, as well as "manually" control scotch broom.

Students will rotate through learning stations, to learn about the issue of invasive species and how they impact biodiversity and native ecosystems. They will then conduct scotch broom removal at key locations in the park.

Scotch broom is an invasive non-native (alien) plant species brought to Canada for use as a garden ornamental. Without natural predators to keep it under control, it has spread from gardens into our native habitats taking over large areas.

Since animals rarely eat invasive plant species, infestations can impact wildlife habitat and rangeland. Globally, invasive species are considered the second largest contributor to the loss of biodiversity (e.g. extinction of species), next to the loss of habitat.

Scotch broom will be manually removed by over 100 students. Invasive plant removal supports the restoration of our important ecosystems in BC Parks.