Native plants like flowering red current are both beautiful and support the local ecosystem.

The Benefit of Growing Local Plants

Encouraging stronger ecosystems, one seed at a time

As Vancouver Island’s natural spaces become more developed, plants that are native to this region are increasingly at risk, putting increased pressure on the local natural ecosystem.

According to the World Wildlife Federation’s Living Planet Report Canada, human activities like this have led to massive declines in native species not just in Vancouver – but across the country. To combat this challenge, employees and volunteers at TELUS have stepped up for native species by completing a simple action that can add up to big impact – planting locally sourced, native species in their gardens.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District also reports that imported plants are detrimental to 25% of our endangered species. And because these imported plants are thriving, they’re set to double in number in the next 5 years, causing even more damage to our local ecosystems.

Plant species that are introduced and able to thrive in new environments have a tremendous advantage over their native plant neighbours – no natural predators and pests. Free from the threat of grazing wildlife or aphid infestations, these plants are left to do what they do best- seed and grow.

Each spring TELUS engages in their global volunteer initiative called TELUS Days of Giving (TDOG). This initiative mobilizes thousands of volunteers from the TELUS family to donate their time to social impact organizations and projects in their communities. Many of these are centered around outdoor activities that support a greener and healthier planet.

“When looking at how we could support a greener Canada, we engaged with our partner, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), and together decided to focus on the impact invasive species have on our environment,” says Ian Himelfarb, a member of the TELUS’ Community Investment team. “We thought one of the best ways to do this was to encourage our team members to grow plants local to their specific area.”

TELUS has joined forces with WWF Canada to encourage their team members to include local species in their gardens. As part of TELUS Days of Giving, Himelfarb’s team is sending out hundreds of packages of seeds to current and retired TELUS employees across the country. Each package contains seeds for native plant species specific to the area that specific employee calls home.

“WWF sources seeds from local breeders, and matches them with the local environment to reduce any negative impact,” explains Himelfarb.

Unlike invasive species, native plants are extremely beneficial to their local ecosystems. These plants have evolved alongside the other living things in their environments. This makes them ideally suited to providing the food, shelter, and even soil chemistry needed to support native insects and animals, and other indigenous plant species. The result is strong natural biodiversity- an interconnected system of natural life that will thrive for years to come.

Native plants are also better suited to the local climate than imported varieties. These native plants know how to maximize the available water, so they won’t require extra watering and irrigation techniques that drain the local water table.

While TELUS team members from across Canada participate in planting seeds for TELUS Days of Giving, Himelfarb notes that employees living on Vancouver Island are strong supporters of the program. There is also a great response from employees in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

“It’s a really cool activity that everyone can take part in, no matter where they are,” Himelfarb says. “I got involved with [the seed planting activity] because it’s an easy way to make a tangible positive impact on our environment. After all, we only get one earth”.

To learn more about what TELUS Days of Giving and TELUS’ community investment , visit telus.com/community.

To learn more about invasive and native plant species in Cowichan Valley, visit cvrd.bc.ca/2283/Invasive-Species

Comments are closed

Just Posted

DCS’s Greir and Hengstler among top winners at Mid Islands

Kelsey’s Powell with four gold medals, Cow High’s Castle claims three

Vancouver Island Vixens are bringing burlesque to the Duncan Showroom June 1

Get your tickets now for what is sure to be a sold-out night of burlesque-style titillation

Mary Lowther column: Sprouts will get David to eat his greens

After one spends a few decades training a husband it makes sense to keep his body in decent shape

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan Minor baseball strikes back after presentation calling for ballpark changes

Lake Cowichan Minor Baseball says there is no call for thousands in renovations

600 new campsites coming to BC Parks

Province announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Most Read