Invasive Species

At Greenways, a lot of our work is tied to invasive species. It is inherent in all of our site maintenance and restoration work, and is also central to some projects, such as the Scotch Broom Project that we run in partnership with the City of Campbell River.

What are invasive species? Invasives species do not naturally occur in a specific area and their introduction has been known to cause economic or environmental harm. Invasive species have the ability to reproduce and spread quickly, which can make them difficult to kill or remove. These species spread rigorously, while often making it difficult for indigenous species to thrive in the same area.


The “Top 5 Invasive Species in and around Campbell River” summarized by Sandra Milligan, President of the Beaver Lodge Trust Society, in a brief video.

(Cytisus scoparius)

Greenways has been working on the removal of Scotch broom for over 20 years as part of its mandate to restore critical habitats. In 2018, Greenways partnered with the City and launched the Broom Project to contain its spread within Campbell River. Invasive species like broom thrive in disturbed areas, so removal and restoration work is done in conjunction to manage it long term. As part of the Broom Mapping project, Greenways coordinates these efforts with community group. Together, we prioritize treatment locations and monitor results on a city-wide scale, providing equipment and support as needed. Greenways maps Scotch Broom biennially and treats select sites annually. Removal is prioritized at designated City-owned Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs).

Click here to become a Broombuster and get involved with invasive species removal! Or email

Scotch Broom forms dense thickets and spreads rapidly in disturbed soils. Broom restricts large mammal movement, out-competes native flora, and poses a wildfire risk. Due to high seed production, the ability to expel seeds large distances, and increased growth when cut, Scotch Broom dominates sites quickly.

For more information on Scotch Broom, click here.

(Polygonum spp)

The Knotweed Program, which is free for homeowners in the city of Campbell River, was developed in 2014. City staff and Greenways Land Trust have worked in partnership until 2020 to address Knotweed in the community. Physical removal attempts of this invasive plant result in higher growth rates and further spread in infested areas. Currently, the only way to contain and eliminate Knotweed is by controlled herbicide application. Annual treatment of Knotweed occurs in midsummer.

To report Knotweed or join the City’s treatment program:

Email the Coastal Invasive Species Committee at

The main species in Campbell River is Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica). Knotweed destabilizes banks, negatively affects fish habitat, and shades out native flora. It threatens our environmentally sensitive areas, as well as infrastructure in the built environment. Because knotweed has extremely strong, deep root systems, it often grows back larger after attempts to cut it down.

For more information on Knotweeds, click here

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