photo credit: Elk Root Conservation Farm

Planting NOW for the future! CKISS launches Eco Garden Project during Invasive Species Action Month

To get British Columbians active in preventing and stopping the spread of harmful invasive species, the BC government has officially declared the entire month of May as Invasive Species Action Month. Invasive species threaten BC’s unique ecosystems!  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers invasive species as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally. We are taking action on invasive species by launching the EcoGarden Project.

With a rapidly changing climate and major climate disturbances, native ecosystems are under stress to adapt quickly. The EcoGarden project aims to support the planting of native and non-invasive plants to increase biodiversity and reduce risks associated with invasive species, which supports resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change.

“The idea for this project came from the experience of my own garden. I wanted to know how I could do a better job protecting the Kootenays in my own backyard.  I started researching wildlife gardens and I had questions about some of the plants I was considering.  I figured I wasn’t the only one wondering what to do with all the disparate plant lists and needing expert local advice,” says Laurie Carr, CKISS Development Program Coordinator

Know what you grow! The horticulture industry has been identified as a pathway for invasive plant introduction.

The project provides resources to make it easy for gardeners to support our ecosystems. CKISS consulted with local experts to develop a list of local native and cultivar plants that are suited for the Central Kootenay region and support nature. Plants highlighted are suited for future climate conditions, are non-invasive, support birds and attract pollinators.  Wildlife attractant issues, such as attracting bears, are detailed on the list. All the plants are available from local suppliers and were chosen by local experts to ensure success by gardeners and landscapers alike.

It would BEE great if you can select plants that support pollinators! photo credit: Elk Root Conservation Farm

CKISS hopes to have EcoGarden demonstration gardens throughout the region, to showcase the beauty and utility of planting for the future. If you are interested in creating a demonstration garden, contact CKISS for more information. One of the greatest challenges of the project is the lack of accessibility and supply of native plants within our region. As this project moves forward we hope this gap can be addresses and the supply and selection of native plants increases in the future for Central Kootenay gardeners.

Pollinator garden at Elk Root Conservation Farm.

”This project is directed at gardeners and landscapers but the entire community will benefit from urban and rural landscapes that support ecological values.  Planting for the future can start in your own backyard!” states Carr

Funders & Partners

CKISS gratefully acknowledges the support funders Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the City of Nelson through the CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program.

CKISS gratefully acknowledges the support of our many partners for their passion and expert advice: Bren Beckwith (KinSeed Ecologies), Valerie Huff (Kootenay Native Plant Society), Kate Mizenka (Elk Root Conservation Farm Society) and Genevieve Bergeron (RDCK WaterSmart Ambassador).