As gardening season finally arrives in the region, the Coastal Invasive Species Committee is raising awareness of the dangers some invasive species pose.

Scotch broom, giant hogweed, and knotweed are just some of the invasive species in the Coastal region of British Columbia. Executive Director Rochelle McElroy says once invasive species get established they can be difficult to remove.

“The whole reason why we live here in [BC] is the beautiful biodiversity that surrounds us. Not all green things are created equal…invasive species don’t only impact our natural environment in terms of [you know] out-competing native vegetation, but also they can have huge health impacts and that’s why giant hogweed is [on the] top of our list”, she says.

The sap from the giant hogweed can cause burns if it gets on your skin and is exposed to sunlight.

McElroy says it’s important people learn about invasive species so the plants can be identified and then properly dealt with.

Numerous communities will host work parties throughout the season in an effort to get rid of invasive species before too much damage is done.

McElroy says the Committee focuses on species that are newest to the region in the hopes of eradicating them before they spread.