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Saturday seminar offers tips on fighting backyard invaders

EcoSuperior hosts an invasive plant information session
Himalayan Balsam 2
The Himalayan Balsam lines walking paths in a wooded area near Boulevard Lake (

THUNDER BAY — Gardeners get an opportunity on Saturday, August 11 to learn how to help combat the spread of invasive plant species in Thunder Bay.

EcoSuperior will host a drop-in session from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Central Natural Gardens on 10th Avenue just off Central Avenue.

Invasive plants threaten the natural environment by outcompeting native plant species.

Experts say homeowners may be unwittingly jeopardizing local ecosystems by allowing certain plants to grow in their own yards.

"Often, gardeners are unaware that they are growing invasive plants," says EcoSuperior's Melissa Davidson.

She'll run the workshop along with Sarah Friesen of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

Davidson said the first step in combatting the spread of species such as Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam is proper identification.

Once an invasive plant has been identified, Friesen said, "You need to understand the biology of the species and know how to properly dispose of the plant material after."

One point that will be emphasized at the meeting is that invasive plant debris should never be composted, as this can lead to further spread.

The best practice, experts say, is "solarizing," a process in which plant material is placed in a black garbage bag and left in full sunlight for 2-3 weeks to decompose prior to being taken to the landfill.

EcoSuperior also offers an invasive plant removal kit, available on loan, at its office at 562 Red River Road.