Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council
The Community Foundation of Whistler is proud to support the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council's Cost Share Program, a pilot project to provide rebates for invasive plant control on private property.
The program provided 18 land owners throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor with the guidance, support, and resources necessary to manage invasive plants. Applicants were provided up to 50% of the cost of control of giant hogweed and Japanese Knotweed.
Giant hogweed presents a hazard to human health as it contains poisonous sap. The sap sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation and results in severe burns and man cause temporary or permanent blindness.
Japanese knotweed can have serious environmental and economic impacts. This plant is very aggressive and can devastate riparian systems, degrade native plant and wildlife habitat, and be a safety concern along roadways.
"We just bought our place and had no idea about what knotweed was and how much of it we had in our yard. We hat it all around the house, growing right next to our foundations and around our septic pipes. We had no idea how to get rid of it and don't know where we'd be without the help we've gotten through the program" -Pemberton resident
The foundation also supported Invasive-free Certification for horticultural companies in the region. Sixty two individuals attended workshops and received training on invasive plant management. As a result of this program there are now at least 4 Invasive-free certified companies in Squamish who wish to specialize in the removal of Japanese Knotweed.
An unexpected result of the certification program is how these companies are now doing such an active job to spread the word about invasive plants.
"We have been identifying invasive plants on several sites, reporting them and educating clients and owners along the way...I hope to raise awareness so much more and see great potential for future work in so many areas. We will be back for upgrades to the certification and continue to include this in all our professional work" -Heike Stippler, Heike Designs
"The Invasive-free Certification Program has been a valuable educational resource for our company and its employees. The tools provided in the program, including detailed referenced materials and separate disposal for invasive species, have been very helpful. As part of our overall goal to be as environmentally responsible as possible, Whistler Landscaping is proud to be Invasive-free Certified and help minimize the negative impacts caused by invasive species in our area"- Bryce Anderson, Whistler Landscaping