Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Chilliwack Action Team has a successful season helping communities 

Chilliwack Action Team member Katie Poustie and the team's Yellow flag iris removal from Bell Slough

By Ksenia Kolodka| Edited by Lisa Houle | October 31, 2022

Every year, the StrongerBC Action Teams receive a list of species to be managed before the start of the work season. This ensures they are well equipped to identify invasive species and can use their skills to determine the best way to manage the land.  

The Chilliwack Action Team put those skills to good use this season, helping communities all around the Lower Mainland. They had lots of opportunities to speak to the public about the importance of managing invasive species in the Chilliwack area. The team focused on mechanical management techniques this season, rather than chemical treatments. 

Torin Kelly, Chilliwack Action Team Supervisor, speaking with the public about invasive species

Working with the Squamish Nation, the team helped the Elders manage invasive species on their property. “They have some mobility issues and can’t manage the invasive species by themselves anymore,” said Katie Poustie with the Chilliwack Action Team. “It was so rewarding to help them and be welcomed.”  

Squamish First Nation lands before invasive plant removal
Squamish First Nation lands after invasive plant removal

The Chilliwack Action team worked on the areas around Chilliwack Lake Road, hauling truckloads of invasive plants – mostly English ivy (Hedera helix) – to the landfill. 

At Bell Slough in Chilliwack, the team amassed a volunteer group to clip Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) seed pods, using canoes to reach areas that were hard to access by land. In total, the group collected 200lbs worth of Yellow flag iris seed pods – a huge success!  

“Canoes were the most effective way to access the seed pods; there were houses and farms along the shore, and too many Himalayan blackberry bushes to safely access the slough,” said Katie.  

Katie enjoyed her experience this season working with ISCBC. “I learned about invasives that I haven’t experienced before – it was so cool to learn about Yellow archangel. I got to work with a bunch of people that I got along with really well, and we had amazing teamwork which made the work fun,” she said. “I would absolutely do this job again!”  

ISCBC is grateful to the StrongerBC funding from the Province of BC that supports individuals in training and providing work for people whose jobs were impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic and to help protect BC’s lands and waters from invasive species.  

Ksenia is a Community Science Coordinator with ISCBC. She is passionate about nature conservation and taking film photos of the beautiful natural landscapes of BC. You can reach Ksenia at