County encourages residents to help identify noxious weeds
Rocky View County is urging residents to report sightings of noxious weeds during the summer months.
The county is home to a number of weeds listed under the Alberta Weed Control Act, with the most common being Common Toadflax, Scentless Chamomile, Leafy Spurge, Ox-eye Daisies and Nodding Thistle.
Kendra Tippe, agricultural services officer for Rocky View, said the County does a lot of work to look for prohibited and noxious weeds.
“We hire summer staff every year from the beginning of May to the end of August who go out in the divisions and look for the invasive weeds,” she said. “They also help residents and answer questions if they’re unsure if the weeds are in their yard or in pastures.
“They help identify and offer alternatives for control or how to destroy them, and alternative options if the weeds are found in ornamental settings.”
Tippe said that weeds, such as those listed above, are important to keep track of and are listed under the weed control act because of their destructive nature.
“They are listed for several reasons, but the main reason is because some of the weeds are extremely competitive with native (plant) species that we rely on for livestock.
“A field could also be infested by weeds that have toxics properties and can be harmful.”
Tippe said some of the plants also have seeds that are viable for a number of years, so if they end up going to seed, it can cause major problems for many years down the road.
“(The weeds) are competitive in how they reproduce and seed and some have creeping roots,” she said.
“They are very challenging to get rid of, so we are trying to prevent them spreading rather than having to deal with a large problem later.”
Tippe said they would like to hear from more residents who know the locations of noxious weeds.
Samples of prohibited weeds are on display at the Rocky View County administration building in Calgary. There is also information about the plants on the Alberta Weed Council’s website, www.invasiveplants.ab.ca
“We’d love to hear from more people,” she said. “If residents think they see a weed, they can call the weed hotline or report it online.
“It can be anywhere, whether they notice it while they’re driving by somewhere, or if it’s on their property, they can call it in as long as they have the location.”
Residents can report weed sightings by calling 403-520-1272 or filling out a form online at www.rockyview.ca/weeds