FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Oct. 14, 2015, Williams Lake—A growing number of B.C. gardening retailers, growers and landscapers have committed to stop selling invasive species by signing on as PlantWise industry partners this year. More than a dozen garden retailers, growers and landscapers around the province have signed the PlantWise Code of Conduct committing to lead by example, stop selling invasive plants and promote responsible alternatives.
“By becoming a PlantWise Partner, these businesses are taking a leadership role in our province to stop the spread of invasive species,” says Gail Wallin, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). “Unfortunately, invasive plants are still being sold and traded in B.C., but we hope that by educating both consumers and the horticultural industry, we can make British Columbians more PlantWise.”
PlantWise is a prevention-based program for the horticulture industry and consumers to encourage people to choose only safe, non-invasive plants. PlantWise Partners provide direction to gardeners through education and awareness, in-store signage and Grow Me Instead, a resource that lists 26 invasive horticulture plants with multiple safe and attractive alternatives for all growing zones.
“Working with the PlantWise team has been helpful and easy, and we're happy to promote non-invasive alternatives to our customers,” said Scott Pearce, VP Marketing & Merchandising of GardenWorks in Vancouver. “The resources we’ve been given have made it really easy for us to do our part and educate our customers about what is invasive and what is non-invasive for their gardens.”
Other committed PlantWise Partners include GardenWorks (Vancouver, Victoria), Billies Flower House (Squamish), David Hunter Garden Centres (Vancouver and Surrey), Hanna and Hanna Orchards (Salmon Arm), Hanson's Landscaping and Nursery (Chilliwack), Lasting Landscapes Langley, Surrey), Heike Designs (Whistler) and Birch Grove Nursery (Agassiz).
Invasive plants are a huge threat to biodiversity. With unique characteristics that other plants lack, invasive plants can out-compete native vegetation and cause environmental and economic harm. The cost of invasive species to Canada is between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion per year. Invasive species cause increased maintenance costs to public parks and private property, devaluing real estate. Many invasive plants are sold to customers, escape cultivation and are now invasive in B.C. Examples include purple loosestrife, English ivy, yellow flag iris, yellow archangel and Russian olive.
Click here for more information about PlantWise, or to become a PlantWise partner.
About the Invasive Species Council of BC
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is working to minimize the negative ecological, social and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species for more than 10 years. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of B.C.’s natural ecosystems. For more information or to find your local invasive species committee visit www.bcinvasives.ca.
Funding for this project has been provided through the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
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