An invasive plant is a non-native plant species that has negative effects on the environment or public health. Typically invasive plants spread easily and aggressively by displacing native plants and often altering environments.
As per the Provincial Weed Control Act municipalities are required by law to control the spread of noxious weeds. The Weed Control Act classifies weeds into two categories: Prohibited Noxious Weeds, and Noxious Weeds. The definitions of each, from the Alberta Invasive Plant Identification Guide: Prohibited Noxious and Noxious are as follows:
Prohibited Noxious Weeds:
A plant designated in accordance with the regulations as a prohibited noxious weed needs to be contained and destroyed, and includes the plant’s seeds. Plants in this category are either not currently found in Alberta or are found in few locations such that eradication could be possible. Under the Weed Control Act a person has a responsibility to destroy a prohibited noxious weed. An example of a Prohibited Noxious Weed is Purple Loosestrife.
A plant designated in accordance with the regulations as a noxious weed needs to be contained and destroyed, including the plant's seeds. Plants listed in this category are considered too widely distributed to eradicate. A local authority may conduct control programs for these weeds if they feel they may have significant ecological or economic impact on lands within their municipality. A few examples of a Noxious Weed is Scentless Camomile, Common Tansy, and Canadian Thistle.
While there are many weeds classified under both Prohibited Noxious and Noxious, there are four main weeds the Town of Morinville will be aiming to control this summer; Scentless Camomile, Common Tansy. Canadian Thistle and Purple Loosestrife.
Additionally, any weeds or concerns that are brought forth will be dealt with in a timely manner.
For a complete list of Noxious and Prohibited Noxious Weeds, visit the Alberta Invasive Species website.
Controlling Noxious Weeds
The Town uses a variety of methods to control and manage noxious and invasive weeds as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Approach. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resident varieties.
While focusing on long-term and a combination of techniques, the Town's goal is to limit chemical application and only use it when all other reasonable avenues have been investigated. When needed, chemical application will be done to the highest standards of Municipal, Provincial and Federal Legislation.
There are several things you can do as a homeowner if you notice that weeds are growing in your lawn or garden. Here are several tips:
- Hand pulling/digging weeds. This is often the most effective way to eliminate weeds because you can pull both the weed and the root system
- Mowing over weeds before they go to seed. This will help reduce the spread of the weed and in a few seasons can eliminate the weed all together
- In some cases companion planting can help eilminate weeds because they do not like growing close to certain plants
- Applying an organic fertilizer which will help to promote root growth, improve your lawn’s colour and increase the resistance to disease and weeds. Organic fertilizers do not leach and runoff into our rivers, are non toxic and non corrosive which make them a healthier choice compared to traditional fertilizers.
Completing these measures will not only stop the spread of weeds, but will allow your home or garden to look its best.
For help with identification of Noxious Weeds and other noxious weed resources, please refer to the Alberta Invasive Species Council website.
If you have any concerns, please contact the Town of Morinville Public Works department at 780.939.2590.
This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various regulations currently in effect. The Town of Morinville will not accept responsibility for persons relying solely on this information.