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Some urban residents might be unaware some garden plants create problems in rural Alberta

08/17/2017

Some urban residents might be unaware some gardenplants create problems in rural Alberta

Lawrence Gleason, Contributor

Sunday, August 13, 2017 4:36:08 MDT PM

Getting control of noxious weeds in the Municipal District (MD) ofWillow Creek is made more difficult by people living in urban areas who may becontributing to the problem without realizing it.

Some gardens in the five townsin the MD include some noxious weeds, including Baby’s Breath, which isattractive enough to be used in floral displays, and other flowering plantsthat look attractive to urban residents but plague rural producers.

“People are not aware this is a noxious weed,” said Cynthia Vizzutti,the MD’s chief administrative officer. “There’re other invasive ornamentals intown in people’s gardens.”

Agricultural Fieldman Carla Preachuk said, “We have no jurisdiction todeal with that stuff in the towns.”

Invasive and noxious weeds can create serious problems in agricultureand also upset natural biodiversity by crowding out native plant species.

Vizzutti said the towns within the MD have been interested in the pastin the MD’s help in controlling noxious weeds.

“If towns want to work with the MD and have us take care of noxiousweeds it might be necessary to include gardens and an education program,”Vizzutti said. “We have to educate folks.”

Invasive weeds can also grow in areas where construction projectsdisturb the soil.

Division 6 Councillor Neil Wilson said a subdivision started in nearNanton and left resulted in “30 to 35 acres” of weeds.

Wilson said, “Perhaps there should be stringent controls for developerson keeping down weeds on property that they’re working.”

Wilson said invasive weeds from provincial lands have also been aproblem.

Canadian Pacific railway beds have also been a problem, Preachuk said,adding the MD had an annual $5,000 grant to deal with weeds on vacant lands.

“That $5,000 doesn’t go a long way,” said Preachuck adding the provinceprovides another $1,000 grant for weed control around Fort Macleod.

“We have a lot of noxious weeds that money doesn’t even come close tocovering,” said Preachuk.  


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