April 3, 2014: The Invasive Species Council of BC commends the Burnaby garden centre which recently went public about its troubles with an infestation of European Fire Ants. GardenWorks talked to local media to highlight why it’s so important for gardeners and the horticultural industry to be aware of the dangers of invasive species to our province.
We believe that province-wide cooperation and coordination is needed to minimize the negative ecological, social, and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species, including European Fire Ants. By coming forward, GardenWorks has shown leadership in informing the public about the dangers of invasive species and ways to minimize their spread.
GardenWorks had previously been pro-active in voluntarily removing species of invasive plants from their shelves several years ago, and were an early adopter of the Grow Me Instead program. They continue to be a key partner in the BC-wide PlantWise program, which is launching this month for another season. We commend GardenWorks for their strong leadership and early action to address European Fire Ants at their Burnaby location, and for their willingness to advise the public of the issue.
ISCBC is working with a team, led by the provincial government, with members from provincial government, local government and researchers to develop an action plan to minimize the impacts of European Fire Ants. The team has held workshops about the ants and will continue to monitor the situation in the province.
The situation in Burnaby shows that no one person or business can do this on their own. Business can make a difference by being informed and reaching out for support and advice where needed, as Gardenworks has done, and gardeners can inform themselves through the PlantWise program and other information sources. ISCBC has a wealth of resources available for the public, industry, governments and educators through the PlantWise program and on its website at bcinvasives.ca.
Gail Wallin, Executive Director