On Monday Greenview partnered with several groups of volunteers to respond to an overgrowth of Common Tansy along the Smoky River. The first Common Tansy Clean Up took place in 2016 and some of the groups involved participated in last year’s tansy control project at the same location. The Grande Prairie River Rats, 7 Generations Energy and Canadian Natural Resources Limited are returning volunteers. This year Greenview also welcomed the Alberta Invasive Species Council which joined in the efforts.
Greenview Agricultural Services became aware of the Common Tansy problem on the Smoky River during a routine inspection in 2015. Last year’s work was postponed to late summer due to changing water levels and Greenview targeted an earlier start date in 2017 to reach the plants before they begin to seed. Common Tansy can spread by seed, regrow from existing roots and is rhizomatous; meaning it can grow from separated flowering stems. With the overgrowth located along the water, the tansy is being controlled through manual labour by digging out the plants one by one and burning them to minimize opportunity for it to re-establish next year. Due to Common Tansy’s invasive nature and tendency for seeds to spread with spring runoff, this plant has the potential to infest and out-compete native vegetation anywhere downstream. Watersheds that could potentially be impacted include the Peace River, Slave River, Great Slave Lake and beyond. By being proactive now, Greenview hopes to save large areas of native vegetation along the water’s edge. This method of controlling Common Tansy and other invasive species is a labour intensive process which relies on the help of the community.
Reeve Dale Gervais acknowledged the importance of the volunteers: “We want to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Grande Prairie River Rats, 7 Generations Energy, Canadian Natural and the Alberta Invasive Species Council for being part of the Common Tansy control project. A project of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated work of many people and we are so pleased that these community focused organizations and businesses were able to join us again this year.”
Along with the control efforts, Greenview’s goal is to bring awareness that Common Tansy is spreading along the Smoky River between municipalities in our region. It’s anticipated that the Common Tansy problem will need to be addressed over multiple growing seasons but with increased awareness of the plant and its potential harmful effects, Greenview looks forward to moving control efforts to the source of the infestation in years to come.