Are you a “green” gardener who has invasive plants on your hit list? You
might be eligible for a major award!
It’s City Beautification time again, and once again Clean North will be
sponsoring the Green Glove Award category. Nominations for this award (and
other City Beautification awards) will be accepted until July 17.
Each year the Green Glove Award recognizes a local gardener who is
practicing sustainable gardening through use of native species; planting
species friendly to wildlife (especially birds, bees, and butterflies);
composting garden waste; using rain barrels and other water conservation
tools and techniques; and using natural pest and disease control methods.
For 2017, Clean North is working with the Invasive Species Centre to add a
new focus to the Green Glove Award criteria – avoiding invasive garden
plants such as periwinkle, goutweed, creeping bellflower, non-native
honeysuckle shrubs, buckthorn, and Himalayan balsam.
“Gardeners can play an important role in preventing spread of invasive
plants,” said Don McGorman of Clean North. “Sometimes we think there’s no
risk to an invasive plant being in our garden if we don’t live in the
middle of the forest. The truth is invasive species can easily escape into
natural areas within and around the city, crowding out native plants and
Don notes that Himalayan balsam is a perfect example. Many people love having this annual in their yard because it gets very tall and produces many beautiful pink flowers. But each plant produces thousands of seeds, and each seedhead explodes on touch, rocketing seeds up to six metres
away. Himalayan balsam can now be found in many natural areas across the city.
“The Invasive Species Centre is pleased to be partnering with Clean North
on this initiative to shine a spotlight on the threat that invasive garden
plants pose to our local ecosystems,” said Tracey Cooke, the centre’s
executive director. “This new facet of the award dovetails nicely with our
other invasive species outreach programs, such as the Early Detection and
Rapid Response (EDRR) Network Ontario edrrontario.ca, which is
established in Sault Ste. Marie and expanding to the Algoma-Manitoulin
You do not have to have zero invasive species in your garden to be
eligible for the Green Glove Award, but the more native plants and less
invasives, the better. You may nominate yourself or someone else;
nomination forms are posted on the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s City
– For more about the Green Glove Award, contact Abby Obenchain of Clean
North, [email protected], (705)946-2936.