Volunteer team celebrates victory over destructive, invasive plants

tree ivy 6This morning, a dedicated team of SPES volunteers celebrated a hard fought victory against the destructive and invasive species, English ivy.

Invasive species are globally considered the second biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Invasive plant species, such as English ivy, have the ability to take over the forest floor, limiting the growth of native plants and taking away valuable habitat for the native wildlife. 

As part of SPES’ invasive species removal program, a committed group of volunteers have since 2009 been working hard to prevent English ivy from spreading in Stanley Park and beyond through manual removal of ivy growing on and up the trees in the Park.  As English ivy grows to higher elevations, its growth pattern changes and it is more likely to produce berries which makes it more likely to spread further and faster around the Park and beyond.Tree ivy

Today SPES celebrates the last day of the Tree Ivy removal program which has freed more than 8,000 trees and shrubs from invasive Ivy, as most of the accessible trees in the Park have been cleared of English ivy vines. 

English ivy will continue to be persistent and will be wending its way back to climb the trees at its earliest opportunities, but for now the team will tackle other emergent invasive species that SPES aim to mitigate or eradicate before they can get the same amount of toe-hold that the ivy has had. SPES will likely return to do a second full sweep of the Park for tree ivy starting a year from now.

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