Tofino looks to eradicate Knotweed

Tofino is in an ongoing battle against invasive species and Mayor Josie Osborne has commanded district staff to set their phasers to kill.

During the new business portion of June 23’s regular council meeting, Osborne brought a motion to have district staff investigate strategies for eradicating a patch of Japanese Knotweed growing at the corner of Leighton Way and Arnet Street.

“I have some experience with this plant and with invasive species in general…In my opinion this is something we really need to get on top of,” she said.

“Japanese Knotweed is something that, if it gets out of hand, it can crack foundations, it can crack roads, it can undermine the roadbed.”

She suggested that if the district could come up with an effective way to remove the knotweed, it could then help School District 70 wage war against similar patches growing around the Wickaninnish Community School.

“If the district of Tofino is able to consider this, and prepare a reasonable strategy for dealing with it, then we can pass that recommendation along to the school district and see it taken care of there,” she said.

Coun. Greg Blanchette agreed.

“I’m very much in favour of getting on top of this,” he said. “I’ve looked at that patch and it’s the size of a small car already.”

Council unanimously approved Osborne’s motion and staff will come back with options.

Osborne noted Japanese Knotweed is tricky to get rid of because the seeds can spread quickly if the plant is removed improperly.

“My biggest concern about Japanese Knotweed is that if it gets schwacked down by an unsuspecting worker, those little tiny pieces get distributed places and a new patch arises,” she said. “This plant is vicious.”

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca