As a new young homeowner I made the mistake of introducing several plants which turned out to be invasive into my garden and I am still battling them. One that seems to be common in home gardens is yellow lamium which seemed like it was going to be a cheap and quick way to 'green' my side yard, when money and kids were both short (and life was very busy)
My neighbours English Ivy has somehow crossed the pavement (likely through bird excrement - or can it send out roots under roadways? Yikes!) and is trying to get a toe-hold in my garden. After my several hours working with a group in Chemainus pulling Ivy from Askew Park, I have discovered how hard it is to eradicate and how harmful it is to the natural flora and fauna. Climate change is going to bring more and more invasive species and help those already here to flourish, so its more important than ever that we do what we can to try to keep them under control.
Invasive species crowd out native plants, contribute to stream bed erosion, and can cause harm to human health as well as ecological health. I have to admit, when I read the definition of invasive species, humans came to mind. Hmmmm, nuff said.
Government is not going to be able to eradicate all invasive species. It's going to take you and i and our neighbours if we want to get it done.
Please check out the sites listed above and do your part. It can feel daunting, but I am reminded of the story of the hummingbird and the fire.
One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest - a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.
This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, "Don't bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you
can't put out this fire."
And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, "What do you think you are doing?" And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, "I am doing what I can."
May we all be able to say that same thing.