Seminar encourages eco-friendly gardening choices

Weeds on menu as Township, LEPS promote pesticide-free approach to growth

Dandelions are more than just pretty weeds. They're also edible and provide nutrition for bees and other pollinators. Learn more about the benefits of going pesticide free during an eco-friendly gardening seminar on March 12.

Simple choices can make a world of difference, and what residents choose to grow in their gardens can have a great effect on the environment and the food people eat.

“People tend to think of dandelions as weeds and kill them off with pesticides,” said Meaghan Norton Daniel, environmental co-ordinator with the Township of Langley.

“But many of the plants considered to be ‘weeds’ provide nutrition to bees, and bees and other pollinators help create healthy food for us.”

“There are other ways to manage your yard and lawn that are easier on the environment and much more beneficial to the creatures that are such a vital part of our ecosystem — and therefore to us,” she said.

A number of those techniques will be explored during the annual Salmon Friendly Garden Seminar, hosted by Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS).

The event, a favourite with local gardeners, will be held Saturday, March 12, at the Township of Langley Civic Facility, 20338 65 Ave.

The free session runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and guests can reserve their seats by emailing outreach@leps.bc.ca or calling 604-546-0338.

The seminar is part of the Township’s Grow Healthy Grow Smart program, which aims to reduce or eliminate the use of cosmetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers for the benefit of salmon habitat, wildlife, and pollinators in our community.

“Pesticides do not distinguish between beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs from pests,” said Nichole Marples, executive director of LEPS.

“We hope this seminar encourages participants to embrace nature and become innovative in managing their lawns and gardens.

The result will be felt all the way out to our streams and watercourses.”

During the seminar, presenter David Tracey will discuss edible landscaping, Richard Hallman will talk about fruit tree pruning, and Peter Isaacson will focus on the natural prevention of the European chafer beetle.

During the break, “weed salad” will be served as tasty proof that there are options to dealing with plants that some consider weeds.

The goal is to encourage people to eat their dandelions and chickweed, rather than spray them with pesticides that harm bees and can get washed away by rain into storm drains that lead to fish-bearing streams.

For more information, visit tol.ca/growhealthygrowsmart.

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