The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council has just finished off the first invasive-free certification workshops for the horticulture industry. So far 39 people have participated in the program representing 14 different horticulture companies. The following companies have made a commitment to minimize the threat of invasive species and are the first to become Invasive-Free Certified: Coyote Landscape Contracting, Deeply Rooted Landscaping, Heike Designs Inc., Latham Landscapes Ltd., Paulette French Designs, Sound Garden Landscape Design Ltd. & Whistler Landscaping.
The next workshops will be held in May/June on the following NEW dates, or by request:
Pemberton workshops: location to be announced
- Tuesday, May 31st: time of workshop to be based on interest, please contact us
Squamish workshops: Squamish Adventure Centre, 38551 Loggers Lane
- Thursday, June 2nd: 11:30 – 1:30 pm & 2:00 – 4:00 pm
- Tuesday, June 14th: 8:00 – 10:00 am
Whistler workshops: Public Works Yard, Nesters Road
- Tuesday, June 7th: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
- Wednesday, June 8th: 8:00 – 10:00 am
- Thursday, June 9th: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Invasive species are a growing threat in the Sea to Sky Corridor, and the horticulture industry plays a key role in minimizing the risks. At a horticulture forum hosted by the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC) last November, there was feedback from the industry that there was generally a lack of education on invasive species. It was pointed out by those in the industry that some garden centres/nurseries are still selling invasive plants and that invasive plants are still being prescribed by some landscape architects and landscaping companies. Lack of a safe disposal site was also a key issue and each municipality is currently working on new invasive disposal protocol. At the forum it was suggested that a certification program for the horticulture industry may be one of the best ways to increase awareness of the issue and the SSISC is now going ahead with a pilot program.
The goal of this pilot program is to promote and integrate targeted invasive species management into the practices of horticulture and landscape companies serving the Sea-to-Sky corridor. Training will be provided to participating companies to improve their knowledge in the following three areas:
- Species Recognition and Procurement Practices – ensuring products purchased or grown are not invasive
- Site & Species Appropriate Control Methods – ensuring a base understanding of the types of control methods available to control a given species
- Disposal Practices – ensuring that invasive plant seeds or plant parts are properly disposed of, including ensuring integrity of the compost stream
Upon certification, companies can expect to receive both provincial and local recognition which could potentially translate into increased exposure (i.e. new marketing opportunities).
The certification course is two hours long, free and will focus on proper identification and invasive plant management of the highest priority plant species in the Corridor. A tour of the Callaghan compost facility will also be organized but will not be mandatory.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Who can take part in the program?
A: Although it is designed for those in the horticulture industry (garden centres, nurseries, landscapers, landscape architects) anyone if welcome to attend providing there is space.
Q: What defines certification?
A: To become Certified you must have participated in at least one Introductory workshop (or equivalent training), completed a questionnaire and signed a statement of commitment.
Q: Who needs to attend training for a company to become certified?
A: For a company to be considered certified, at minimum 50% of their staff must attend the workshop (or equivalent training) and all crew leaders must attend.
Q: Why should companies participate?
A: The program offers professional development for staff and will be a marketing opportunity. Participating companies will be featured on SSISC website and in press releases, and stickers will also be available for work vehicles.
Q: What are the details of the workshop?
A: The workshop will be offered in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton and is two hours long (participants need to attend just one workshop). The training is free and a guide to identification and management of priority species will be available. Specific dates, times and locations are listed above. Availability is on a first come first served basis with additional workshops being added as needed.
Q:What if I want to participate but cannot make any of the listed dates?
A: The SSISC will try to accommodate requests for additional workshops, please contact us directly to enquire.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Please contact Kristina by email (email@example.com) or phone 604-935-7665 with the workshop you'd like to attend within one week of the course date.
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