Employees from the King County Noxious Weed Program are helping to keep invasive weeds off local store shelves, with City People’s Garden Store in Seattle being the first to pledge to stop selling any of the invasive plants or noxious weeds that appear on King County’s Noxious Weed and Plants of Concern lists.
“These noxious weeds and invasive plants threaten our natural ecosystems by choking out native species,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I commend City People’s for stepping up as the first store in King County to pledge not to sell these destructive plants to their customers.”
Employees with the King County Noxious Weed Program worked with City People’s Garden Store to develop details of the pledge, and now they are helping get the word out to customers about the hazards of noxious and invasive plants, including suggestions for native plant choices that are in harmony with the Pacific Northwest’s environment.
“Invasive plants such as English ivy, yellow archangel and butterfly bush are already overwhelming natural ecosystems in King County, so City People’s pledge not to sell these and other invasive plants is an important step toward reducing their impact to our area,” said Sasha Shaw, education specialist with the county’s noxious weed program.
New research into the relationship between climate change and invasive plants indicates their spread will only worsen in the Pacific Northwest because invasive plants are better able to capitalize on and respond to changing conditions.
“More rain and warmer temperatures are likely for King County and this will only increase the advantage of invasive plants,” Shaw said. “Stopping the further introduction of plants known to be invasive is an important first step to fighting the problems they cause.”
City People’s goal is to set a standard for other nurseries to follow and to raise awareness about invasive plants and how gardeners can make a difference by avoiding them in their gardens.
“We have always tried to be careful not to order plants that are invasive, but in working with King County, we found there were plants we hadn’t realized were a problem,” said City People’s co-owner Steve Magley. “Now the Garden Store can be more thorough in protecting our environment. We will lose a little money, but it’s the right thing to do.”
“We in the business community have to do our part, and we urge other garden stores, nurseries, and especially the big national chain stores to join us by ending the sale of these invasive plants,” Magley said.