submitted by RVCA

In the war on invasive species, knowledge is the most potent weapon – and a free community workshop aims to arm the public with as much invasive species information as possible.

Focusing on identification and how to reduce their spread, the workshop on Saturday, July 29 will feature staff presentations as well as hands-on displays of invasive plants and animals.

“We’re hoping more members of the public will become familiar with these species and their impacts,” said Amanda Lange, RVCA’s Aquatic Habitat Monitoring Co-ordinator.

“The more people know about invasive species, the more we can collectively work to curb their spread. And by reducing the spread, we can give our native species a fighting chance and promote a more balanced and diverse local ecosystem.”

Invasive plants like Himalayan Balsam, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed and dog-strangling vine can spread rapidly, pushing out native species and leaving gaps in the area’s biodiversity. This can reduce food supplies and resources for other species who rely on the missing native plants. Invasive plants are also often poor substitutes when it comes to erosion and flood mitigation, as their roots generally aren’t as deep or strong.

In the water, invasive aquatic species can have dramatic ecosystem impacts while also measurably changing water quality and characteristics. For example, invasive zebra mussels filter suspended particulates so effectively they can cause distinctly weedier lakes, since sunlight can reach further into the water column.

“We’re excited to welcome the public to learn what they can do in their own backyards to make a difference,” Lange said. “It’s a group effort to keep our local environment as natural and functional as possible for everyone’s benefit.”

The workshop will be held at the RVCA’s headquarters in Manotick from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. All are welcome, including community associations, environmental groups, property owners, gardeners, students and anyone with an interest in learning about invasive species. Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration is required.

Contact [email protected] for more information.



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