Training offered to help realtors and land use professionals understand risks and responsibilities related to invasive species

-Invasive Species Council of BC

To help realtors and land use professionals better understand the risks posed by invasive species to properties, and help them provide better advice to their clients, new interactive training is being launched in BC.

“Invasive species can pose a real threat to private properties, and realtors, landscape architects and prospective home owners need to better understand the risks and costs from invasive plants and animals to properties,” says Gail Wallin, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). “That’s why we’ve partnered with the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects and realtors to offer free online learning tools. We appreciate the financial support for this program from the Real Estate Foundation of BC.”

The cost of invasive species to Canada is between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion per year. In British Columbia, just six invasive plants caused an estimated combined damage of at least $65 million in 2008. With further spread, impacts will more than double to $139 million by 2020.  For example, in British Columbia, knotweeds are creating challenges for many property owners due to the plant’s aggressive ability to outcompete local plants, grow through concrete foundations and asphalt, resulting in severe infrastructure damage and financial implications. Another example is European fire ants, which can overrun private yards and public parks and grounds. In agricultural areas, fire ants have the potential to impact both crops and workers.

ISCBC has developed a free interactive e-learning resource and webinar for real estate professionals, professional landscape architects, land developers and other land use disciplines. With this training, they’ll be able to expand their knowledge and understanding of invasive species and their impacts. They’ll learn to identify existing or prospective issues with invasive species on properties, identify some species of concern in BC, learn the impacts and risks associated with them and be able to help inform their clients of their land-owner responsibilities related to invasive species.

In addition to the online resources, ISCBC is also preparing to offer In-person training for the Cariboo, Okanagan and Lower Mainland regions. For more information or how you can get involved, visit bcinvasives.ca.

About the Invasive Species Council of BC

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is working to minimize the negative ecological, social and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species for more than 10 years. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of BC’s natural ecosystems. For more information or to find your local invasive species committee visit bcinvasives.ca.

Training offered to help realtors and land use professionals understand risks and responsibilities related to invasive species
Training offered to help realtors and land use professionals understand risks and responsibilities related to invasive species

 - Photos from Invasive Species Council of BC website.

Two of the more commonly recognized weeds are knapweed and ‘goats beard’. These aggressive plants easily take over lawns and grassy properties and are difficult to get rid of.