Beautiful but Deadly

The flashy blooms of yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) rim Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake at this time of year…but not this year. Our Special Invasive Removal Team has been hard at work removing the flowers to prevent the dispersal of the plants’ buoyant seeds. This invasive plant chokes out native wetland species like catails, sedges and rushes, reducing habitat for native wildlife and impacting biodiversity.

Stewarding Stanley Park’s diverse ecosystems is only possible with the support of dedicated volunteers that work year-round to enhance the park’s natural habitat through the removal of invasive plant species. Over 100 non-native plant species have been identified in Stanley Park, including the invasive English ivy (Hedera helix), Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus), and yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus). Every Monday and Wednesday, the Special Invasive Removal Team (SIRT) suits up in high-vis vests and work gloves to tackle invasive plants species throughout the Park. EcoSteward volunteers can be found digging, pulling, and cutting invasives on the second Saturday of every month. Since November 2017, SIRT and EcoSteward volunteers have contributed 1,360 hours of their time to remove 150 m3 of invasive plant material from over 21,000 m2 of natural habitat! If you would like to join our EcoStewards or SIRT team, please contact our Stewardship Coordinator at

Our next EcoStewards events are on July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.

SIRT volunteers removing Yellow Flag Iris at Lost Lagoon. (Photo: Greg Hart/SPES)

Stanley Park Ecology Society is able to support the amazing efforts of our volunteers through invaluable funding provided by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF). With their continued generosity, we are able to keep muddy gloves and vests clean, sharpen tools, and provide our volunteers with some tasty treats! Many thanks to TD FEF for their November 2017 contribution of $8,750 to support our efforts to manage invasive plant species. Together we are winning the battle against invasive plant species in Stanley Park!

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