Photo by Jon. D. Anderson

Here’s the Spread on Invasive Plants in Our Regional Parks

Invasive plants pose a real danger to our Regional Parks in the absence of natural predators and pathogens to keep them from growing exponentially.

Not sure what invasive plants are? Don’t you worry, we’re about to tell you!

Invasive plants are plants that establish and spread quickly causing serious environmental and economic impacts.


Some invasive plants that are found in our Metro Vancouver Regional Parks include English Ivy, Scotch Broom Common Laurel, English Holly, and Himalayan Blackberry. All of which quickly cause widespread repercussions.

Our Metro Vancouver Regional Parks provide a vital habitat for countless plant and wildlife species. Invasive plant species interfere with these habitats, causing countless critters and vegetation to wither away.

Invasive plant species are a threat to the health of native species of plants and can even cause extinction if left untended. How? Invasive species effectively deprive and out-compete other native species for nutrients and can degrade their environment.

As you can tell, invasive plant species are no small issue. If the growth of invasive plants in our Regional Parks is making you sad, we can (photo)sympathize.

Taking action to reduce and reverse the negative effects of invasive plants in our Regional Parks is an ongoing project for Pacific Parklands Foundation – one requiring commitment and time from volunteers.


How does Pacific Parklands Foundation help relieve the threating effects of invasive plants?  

Well, in the Fall of 2015 Metro Vancouver launched a wonderful program aiming to track the circulation of invasive plants in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Invasive_species_pie_chart

Volunteers from Pacific Spirit Park teamed up with the University of British Columbia (UBC) for the citizen-science mapping program to receive training and put their skills to work by collecting data using handheld GPS units. Pretty high-tech, huh?

The volunteers then identified and recorded the locations and size of the invasive plants they found – the data to be added to existing database which was used to create maps!


Why is invasive plant research important?

The ecological information Metro Vancouver gains from programs such as this one is invaluable. The monitoring and documentation enable rapid response to new areas in distress and basically allow us to effectively disrupt the spreading of invasions.

In respect to cost-effectiveness, learning more now is our best tool to catch invasions when populations are small and can be controlled.

This all said, with 23 Regional Parks in greater Metro Vancouver, there is still a lot of ground to cover!


Getting involved is easy, no experience necessary. To volunteer with monitoring and/or mapping invasive species in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, you can contact

Another great way to help with invasive plant research is to make a donation to the Pacific Parklands Foundation or become a Park Champion Monthly Donor.

Every donation goes towards helping to protect and conserve our Regional Parks for future generations to enjoy.

You’ll be astounded beyond be-leaf how much positive impact your time as a volunteer will have in reversing the adverse effective of invasive plants in our parks!

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