The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC) urges caution when composting garden waste, but an equally concerning issue is the illegal dumping of garden clippings — even along the Valley Trail.
"I've seen lots of locations where someone's just dumped clippings and invasive plants have started to grow out of that pile," said Clare Greenberg, executive director of SSISC.
"We have a big problem with illegal dumping in the region," said Greenberg. "People dump their yard waste sometimes on the edge of parks, or on the edge of public land, up along service roads — and the issue with that is even if it's grass clippings or people's yard waste, they think it will just decompose. It's a problem because a lot of invasive plants can regenerate from just a stem or root material."
With a funding grant from the Community Foundation of Whistler, the SSISC has installed a helpful sign to assist people in what should never be put into compost.
Greenberg said some notorious invasive species can propagate from the smallest bits of plant material.
"No invasives should go in composting. No yard waste should be dumped on public land at all," she said. "I've lost count of how many times I've seen Lamium and periwinkle and English ivy growing out of a pile of obviously discarded yard waste."
Greenberg reminded gardeners that there are free dump days at the transfer stations.
"I would encourage people to take advantage of those days so it saves you a trip out to the Callaghan," she said, and added that if you are in doubt whether a plant is an invasive species, just place it in plastic and put it in general garbage.
For information on invasive species in the Sea to Sky corridor, go to www.ssisc.info.
Community Forest public meeting announced
A recent grant from the Community Foundation of Whistler to the local Rotary Club assisted in some road upgrades and sign refurbishing in the Whistler Interpretive Forest.
Local forestry manager Tom Cole said some work was completed in the Craterview Loop area on both the road and the trail, plus a signage upgrade. There will be an unveiling of the sign on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m., located at MacLaurin's Crossing.
Cole also said a public meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the library. A time has yet to be determined.
"The big issue we're trying to do is co-ordinate road management," said Cole. "What the Community Forest board has identified is definitely a need to co-ordinate access."
Cole said the public meeting is a good chance to have input from residents and users.
"We need to ensure we're integrating and co-ordinating our plans. This is the next phase."