Volunteers in Creston help CKISS fill a trailer with invasive yellow flag iris!

The Creston Valley Wildlife Center is a wetland of international importance because the area has productive wildlife and waterfowl habitat. Sadly a portion of the wetland has been invaded by yellow flag iris, the plant colonizes and spreads in dense stands, out-competing native wetland plants and reducing habitat and resources available for wildlife.

Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

Luckily the plant was no match for a keen group of  Creston residents who joined CKISS staff for a Community weed pull on August 13th. The eleven volunteers all dressed in waders and gloves enjoyed a walk along ‘Songbird Stroll’ before heading into the water to remove the stubborn riparian invader.

The group was instructed that yellow flag iris can be controlled through hand digging, but caution must be exercised to ensure fragmentation does not occur. Fragmented rhizomes can produce new plants. Seed heads were also cut and bagged to prevent seed production.

Proper disposal is also key to reduce the spread of invasive plants! We loaded all the plant parts into a covered trailer to ensure no plant parts spread when they get transported to an appropriate disposal site.

The group is going to receive double karma point for this one. The CKISS ‘Communities Pulling Together” program not only improves local ecosystem health, it also gives volunteer groups an opportunity to raise money for organizations in their communities.  This group of volunteers has chosen the Creston OPT clinic to receive the $250 stipend.  The ‘Communities Pulling Together Program” is possible with support from Columbia Basin Trust.