By Lisa Houle | June 29, 2023
Lighten your load on our ecosystems this summer. As we head into the July long weekend, adopting a few simple good habits will help keep our natural spaces just the way we love them! Read on for some of our best tips from ISCBC staff:
“When out walking, hiking or cycling, stay on marked paths and give invasive plant seeds the brush off. Personally, I carry a boot brush with me in my backpack for hikes with my dog. With a quick brush off my boots and her paws, just a few minutes of my time ensures those invasive seeds aren’t going anywhere,” says Nick Wong, ISCBC Manager of Science and Research.
“It’s fun to take the boat out for the day, fishing with the family and taking a nice leisurely drive on the lake. But when you’re done, remember to Clean Drain Dry. It’s so easy to accidentally move a species from one body of water to another. I take the extra time to pull the plug, and when I wash down my boat I check to see no hitchhikers are coming along for the ride. I do this because it’s a simple way to prevent the spread of invasive species. And I want to enjoy the same features of my favourite lake the next time I have fun with my family,” says Dave Ralph, Senior Manager of Operations.
“If summer fun for you means staying inside on the scorching hot days, consider taking a free course from our online library to broaden your horizons. We have courses on everything from how to identify plants and animals to fun lessons on observing and reporting and community science. In 10 minutes, you’ll have a whole new perspective. I’ll never forget the moment I learned that the key distinguishing feature of European green crab is not its colour, but the five spikes or teeth on the outside of the eyes. I picked this up in the Getting to know European green crab eLearning course,” says Nadine McCosker, ISCBC Learning Centre Manager.
“I love that I can share my interest in invasive species with my family. When my kids were younger, they really liked ISCBC’s selection of ready-to-go activities. It gave them something to do in the summer while hanging out at home or when we were on family vacations. They liked the colouring pages and activity books, making crafts, and playing games. Now that they’re teenagers, summer fun for them is a little different. We still go exploring by the water or on the trails and they come back to the ISCBC website for resources. My daughter just completed a nature journal and is educating others on the impact of invasive species on the creek by her school,” says Stephanie Weinstein, ISCBC Senior Lead, Education.
Prevention is the simplest and most cost-effective way of dealing with invasive species. We hope this summer you’ll Play Clean Go, Clean Drain Dry and always Observe & Report! Taking part in Community Science is easy, rewarding and connects you with folks who, just like you, want to ensure we can all enjoy BC’s beautiful outdoors for years to come!
Lisa is a Communications and Outreach Coordinator at ISCBC. She values a diverse environment and connecting with others about environmental protection. In her spare time Lisa enjoys spending time at the ocean and beach combing for sea glass. You can reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org