The Prince George Naturalists Club has completed its first initiative to remove invasive plants on both sides of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland.
Pulling up the root of a leafy tansy plant, Anne Horgan is a part of the project coordination process with the PG Naturalists. She has a vision for the area to remove invasive plants and protect the ecosystem. “The goal is to bring people down here, but what are they looking at when they come down? They’re looking at an infestation of tansy, toad flax, and thistle.”
The initiative builds off of work from the City of Prince George and the Northwest Invasive Plant Council. With funding from TD Friends of the Environment and the Pacific Salmon Foundation, the PG Naturalists were able to organize several planting and weed removing events in 2015 and 2016.
Program Manager with the Northwest Invasive Plant Council, Penni Adams is looking at plants in the area. She says Tansy is an invasive plant species that comes up from the seed. It has no natural enemies which puts a burden on the ecosystem. “Natural predators don’t go to these species and that’s why you see them proliferating all over the place and in the Hudson’s Bay Wetlands we want to control or eliminate these species before they come in.”
Adams mentioned the site was once called the Hudson’s Bay slough. She says that disturbing the ecosystem brought forth invasive plants like the Tansy. However, cutting the heads off of them prevents the seeds from getting on the ground and helps prevent growth. “Over the years with dead-heading and cutting it back and digging it up, it’s depleting the root system,” she said. “So as they come up, they’re smaller, they’re much easier to control, and year after year we’re knocking it back slowly.”
It’s a slow process indeed, but Chair of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project, Clive Keen is impressed with the work done so far. “The Tansy is such extremely hard work that we had to take a different root for that, a very strong capable group of people came out and removed 66 contractor bags of tansy roots.”
Keen says there are now further plans for the Wetland Area. Two decks in the area are set to be installed very soon. A deck on the north side will cost between $8,000 to $9,000, while an overlook deck on the Heritage Trail costs an estimated $23,000.
Meanwhile, an access ramp is also in the works on the Queensway side. “It’s not simply wheelchairs of course,” Keen said. “It’s going to be for people with limited mobility, so the entire section is going to be completely universal once we’ve finished it.
The ramp will cost $25,000 in grant money. For now, work to protect the area from invasive plants will continue into the future.