Invasive plant pull
BY GAIL PASALUKO
The Town of Ladysmith Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) and Broom Busters will be hosting an invasive plant removal party on April 22, from 1:50 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., at Transfer Beach upper Arbutus Trail. Everyone is welcome to join us in celebrating Earth Day and Canada 150 together this year. Our goal is to remove 150 pieces of broom and free 150 trees from English Ivy during this event.
If you can help, come on out April 22. Some gloves and cutting tools will be available, but if you have your own please bring them along. Volunteers will be on-site to demonstrate the techniques for successful plant removal, as well as answer questions on invasive plant management.
The new committee provides advice to Ladysmith Council and, as requested, the Parks, Recreation & Culture Advisory Committee, regarding the establishment and implementation of control of invasive plant species and re-establishing native plant species in Ladysmith.
So what is all the fuss about, what are invasive plants and why should we be concerned?
In 1998, the World Conservation Union declared invasive species as the second highest threat to biodiversity worldwide, second to habitat loss. Invasive species includes a range of plants, animals, amphibians, insects and viral species. Invasive plants are brought to Canada, either accidentally or intentionally, and include species such as Japanese knotweed, English ivy, Giant hogweed and Scotch broom. These plants have the ability to establish quickly and are highly competitive, form dense patches, have no natural predators and, therefore, displace our native plants.
The first task of our committee is to complete an inventory to identify which invasive plants are the priority species important for management in our community.
We know we have well-established infestations of English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, English holly, Scotch broom and Daphne laurel, throughout parks and residences in the community. We hope to identify the priority areas and, through shared education, promote the best practices for successful removal and restoration with native plants.
Invasive plants, like Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed, will have a different approach taken due to the direct health impacts on the public (irritation or burns) and the ability, like knotweed, to destroy infrastructure. These plants will require special management and disposal. At this time our inventory is beginning to look and record where these plants are located in the community.
Another issue is dumping of plant material in park boundaries. Residents may not realize that a very common way for invasive species plants to spread is by the dumping of garden waste.
Earth Day in the forest
MJ Vermette and Dean Richards of Sacred Fire Music are organizing a Meditation & Singing Circle in the Forest on Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to this free event.
“We will start our gathering with a short meditation, expanding our awareness by connecting to the sounds of the forest. We will then sing together, with the intention of connecting to our true nature and expressing our gratitude to the land,” says organizer Vermette.
Frame drums welcome. Bring a chair or towel to sit on.
Please register by email at sacredfire [at] sacredfiremusic [dot] com or by phone (604-848-9543). For more information visit www.sacredfiremusic.com/events.
VIU Joins the Green Chemistry Commitment
Chemistry education at Vancouver Island University (VIU) is about to undergo a green transformation, of a kind, that only one other university in Canada has done so far.
VIU recently joined the Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC), a consortium launched by the non-profit Beyond Benign, to design and develop innovative, efficient and environmentally sound chemical products and processes, and to prepare world-class chemists with 21st-century skills. The second institution in Canada – the first being the University of Toronto – to sign on to the GCC, VIU joins about three dozen universities and colleges in the United States that are part of the consortium.
“This is a big step forward for VIU’s commitment to sustainability,” says Dr. Alexandra Weissfloch, a Chemistry Professor who spearheaded the university’s application to join the GCC.
Peddle power: eBikes
One of the easiest changes you can make to help the environment will also save you money, improve your health and bring more joy, says Kelly Demoline of CitrusCycles.ca. It is a simple decision – ride an eBike instead of driving After moving to Ladysmith, Demoline quickly realized that the only way to encourage cycling was with the assistance of an eBike. CitrusCycles.ca is his way of helping people experience the joy of cycling by offering free eBike demos, rentals, tours and sales.
Pedal assist electric bikes are ideal for commuting, trail riding, running errands, mountain biking, cruising and exploring. eBikes are available for all ages and riding interests. There are urban and commuting bikes, mountain bikes, cargo bikes, cruiser bikes for ultimate comfort and even fat bikes for riding on the beach or in the snow.
You can ride your eBike anywhere you can ride a bicycle and you do not need to register or license it. You can take advantage of the motor to help on the hills and enjoy all the stunning scenery our Island has to offer. It only costs a few cents to charge the battery, you get same health benefits you get from riding a regular bike – but now you have the freedom to ride further.
As a substitute for a second vehicle you’ll save money on gas, maintenance and insurance. Plus, you don’t have to pay for parking and you can park right by the entrance.
Harvest of the sea: Canadian Pacific Algae’s marine phytoplankton
Based in Cedar, Canadian Pacific Algae® is a local company and international supplier of marine phytoplankton products. Operations manager Arturo Ramirez says their patented technology allow them to produce marine phytoplankton (micro-algae) year round. Canadian Pacific Algae’s takes its environmental responsibility seriously. Once the ocean water is brought in to the facility, every step of the process is utilized to manufacture numerous 100% pure all natural products such as marine phytoplankton, sea salt and soil enhancers.
The marine phytoplankton is a powerful, potent, multi-species blend of wild marine phytoplankton and is licenced by Health Canada. The products containing a unique balance of nutrients, essential amino acids, antioxidants, EPA, and fatty acids including omega 3 and 6 that can only be produced from the nutrient abundant waters from the Strait of Georgia. Nestled between Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands, these pristine waters are among the most biologically productive marine ecosystems in the world for phytoplankton, fish, marine plants and mammals.
Canadian Pacific Algae’s marine phytoplankton is a wild, multi-species whole food ingredient with a full complement of essential nutrients. Phytoplankton have been called the most nutritionally dense food on the planet and they supply nutrients that are lacking in most of our diets. Our marine phytoplankton is ideal for health supplements, cosmetic face and body creams, aquaculture, and agriculture applications.