Invasive Species Management
As part of the Lagoon Society's mission to promote the unique biodiversity of the Sunshine Coast, we are committed to managing some of the many invasive species that have been introduced into our public and private lands.
The Ruby Lake Lagoon Society has been stewarding Tyner Park for the last several years. The stewardship of this land has been part of our goal to Preserve and Enhance local ecosystems. The property was previously owned by Vi and Jim Tyner, who donated it to the Sunshine Coast Regional District after they passed, so that the land could be enjoyed by everyone. Unfortunately, over time the land fell into disrepair and was quickly overtaken by some of the Sunshine Coast's most notorious invasive species.
- Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) - Fact Sheet
- Iris pseudacorus (Yellow flag iris) - Fact Sheet
- Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry) - Fact Sheet
- Rubus laciniatus (Cutleaf blackberry) - Wikipedia
- Vinca minor (Periwinkle) - Fact Sheet
This area has been a priority area for the Lagoon Society because of its location. It's close to the heart of Madeira Park, and as such is accessible for student groups to join us for both education about ecological restoration. It also means we can use their youthful energy to help us manage some of the invasive species! It is truly amazing what a small group of students can do in just an hour!
Student volunteers from Madeira Park Elementary assist in periwinkle removal
Anderson CreekStewardship of Anderson Creek began in 2014 after growing concerns about the expanding Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed) population at the creeks edge. The Ruby Lake Lagoon Society has answered this concern by stewarding the John Daly Park, and is also working with homeowners whose properties border the creek.
Japanese knotweed is a bamboo-like plant native to Asia that – like many other invasive species – was introduced to England and subsequently North America as a garden ornamental (State of Washington Department of Ecology, n.d.) The plant is a perennial, growing year round by seeds in the spring and rhizomes at other times of the year (Royal Horticultural Society, n.d.) In its non-native territory, the plant grows solely by its creeping rhizome network; these rhizomes can extend 13 – 18m in length. The vegetation in riparian areas has a strong influence on river and stream ecosystems, and therefore can dramatically change its structure. This greatly effects the aquatic species that reside in the creek and on its edge, as well as those that thrive off of those aquatic species. In addition to its potential for ecological damage, F. japonica poses a threat to human infrastructure - it is known to eat right through concrete! The industrious growth habits of Japanese knotweed make it a serious threat to both native ecosystems in its introduced range, and to human infrastructure. As a result, initiatives across coastal British Columbia have begun to raise awareness about the plant, including its siblings Giant knotweed and Bohemian knotweed.
The Anderson Creek Watershed has already been subject to environmental degredation due to historical logging in the Caren Range. Logging increased sediment runoff, which compacts the creek bed, decreasing the oxygen content of the water and decreasing the habitat for egg laying and spawning salmon. Anderson Creek saw decreased salmon returns, and locals became concerned. In the 1980s, extensive alteration of the ecosystem took place to create spawning ponds to promote greater returns, and considerable success was seen. However, with the arrival of Japanese knotweed, the Anderson Creek Watershed and its salmon population face yet another threat.
A jolly group of volunteers on the first day of data collection in the Fall of 2014
Volunteers with the Ruby Lake Lagoon Society began research on Japanese knotweed in 2014, and in March of 2015 held the Knotty Forum to host concerned residents from around the coast. At the forum, residents, experts, and students spoke about their concerns, their research, and past experiences in controlling the plant. With this information in hand, the Lagoon Society moved forward to reslease a final Action Plan in the summer of 2015. This Action Plan includes a detailed Pest Management Plan that outlines how the plant will be controlled, how long it will be controlled for, plans for replanting native species, and plans to monitor the ecosystem years into the future. Control measures began in September of 2015 and will be ongoing for many years. We have the support of many dedicated volunteers and organizations on our side, such as researchers from the Environmental Toxicology program at Simon Fraser University and knowledge holders from the Coastal Invasive Species Council.
Community member and Lagoon Society employee Lee-Ann, Rachel from the Coastal Invasive Species Committee, and Heather from the University of Victoria discuss Japanese knotweed at the Knotty Forum in March, 2015.
Volunteer work will be ongoing - if you are interested in getting involved, visit our Become a Volunteer page and sign up!