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Posted: May 21, 2018

Learn more about plants with Mainstreams

Learn more about plants in Lois Creek May 24, then learn from a different perspective and take action May 31 by Mark Creek in the second and third instalments of Mainstreams’ Streamers Series.

Lois Creek (pictured above and right) is well-loved by our community. The whole area is generally referred to as Lois Creek, despite the fact only a small portion is within view of the actual creek. Another indicator of how importantly water features in our lives, whether we think about it or not!

Thursday, May 24, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., Mainstreams and East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) are teaming up to offer an opportunity to expand your local knowledge through a guided walk. Led by EKISC, with a focus on plant life around the Lois Creek riparian (land surrounding a creek), we will learn more about the native and invasive plant species abundant in this area. Meeting place: Lindsay Park School.

“There is an incredible abundance of interesting plants in our own backyard,” says Todd Larsen, Program Manager with EKISC, “it just takes some practice and guidance about what to look for and you will develop a deeper appreciation of the floral diversity as you walk around. We will also introduce the smartphone app ‘Report A Weed’ so bring your smartphone if you have one, ideally with the app installed.”

The diversity of plants changes in different areas of Lois Creek, depending on whether you are in the riparian zone or further away from the creek, and also where there are large populations of invasive plants or not.

Invasive plants are non-native species that have been introduced to an area and are so aggressive in their growth they crowd out native species. The resulting monoculture reduces biodiversity, affecting the overall health of an ecosystem.

As our local creeks offer so much to us, it only makes sense to offer something back. This is the inspiration behind Mainstreams’ community series of events that started bi-annually in the fall of 2017. By increasing awareness, appreciation often grows, along with the inspiration toward positive action.

The following Thursday, May 31 from 6:30-8 p.m. is your opportunity for action! Mainstreams has planned a Burdock Pull ‘N Learn along McKim Trail. We will learn more about the incredible medicinal and nutritional benefits of Burdock while pulling (or harvesting!) the plants, thus liberating the area to become more diverse and resilient. Meeting Place: McKim School.

Creek banks cannot be sprayed with chemicals. Thus, hand pulling and cutting are two of the few options for eradicating invasive plant species in riparian zones. Although working by hand is much slower, there are unexpected benefits to gathering in this effort! It’s a great way to visit and chat with new or old friends. Since it is such a tangible action, there is an immediate satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. It also further develops a ‘filtered vision’, transforming a familiar area into something new.

There will be a limited number of gloves and hand tools provided. Bring your favourite gloves, weeding tools and clippers if you wish. Dress appropriately for the weather. These evenings are scheduled rain or shine! Free and open to all ages, hopefully the whole family can come out together.

Mainstreams is looking for community members interested in committing to a ‘Streamers’ group, engaged in learning about and stewarding our watershed – a precious resource we literally can’t live without.

For more information and updates, follow the Mainstreams Facebook page or call Shannon (250)427- 7981.

These events are made possible thanks to funding from BC Hydro, Columbia Basin Trust and the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council.

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