Preventing Invasive Species Spread for Spring

though beautiful, pampas grass is an invasive species
though beautiful, pampas grass is an invasive species

Ecosystems on earth exist in a delicate balance, perfected over eons by evolution and the North Coast ecosystem is no different. As springtime approaches, flowers start to bloom again, but not all of these plants are native to our region, which can cause a host of issues to our own native flora and fauna.

Common invasive species in northern California include yellow bush lupine, pampas grass, scotch broom, foxglove, ice plant, Himalayan blackberry, and even fennel, among others. Many non-native plant species have been introduced to California over the last150 years, some accidentally, and some on purpose.

Non-native plants can erode the natural landscape, change components of the soil, impede water flow, increase the risk of fire and contribute to the decline of native species.

Local gardeners can help keep non-native plants our of our regional ecosystem by not planting invasive species.  This may seem obvious, but many of these plants and seeds, like foxglove are sold in garden stores and the beauty of the blooming plants may seem too attractive to pass up.

Controlling invasive species in your own neighborhood is as easy as weeding around your property and carefully disposing of the remains.   winter and spring is the best time for removing weeds as the ground is still wet and seeds have not sprouted yet. Keeping boats, shoes, outdoor gear and equipment like kayaks and paddles clean after each use also helps to prevent these species from taking hold. Also, never dump aquarium plants into the local rivers, creeks and bays.     

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