News

Land Care activities in full swing

The Land Care team has had another busy month! July saw five maintenance and clean-up events across the Seine River Greenway. Garbage clean-ups and the removal of large objects dumped in the river continued within the northern section of the Seine. The City of Winnipeg’s 311 Services helped dispose of some items, including an abandoned motorcycle hidden in the vegetation, while SOS’s own Summer Team handled things like the infamous and never-ending vehicle tires.


Some tender loving care was also given to the southern region of the Greenway, where our volunteer team for the area was able to remove several invasive species, including the ever-persistent thistle, purple vetch, and smooth brome grass. Seeds from these invasive species were collected and bagged, while the green stalks and leaves were left to decompose and fertilize the soil.


For the fall, we are excited to inform you that there will be an opportunity to partner with the City on a planting project. We will post the details on our social media platforms once we have them.


Volunteer highlight

SOS Land Care is grateful for all of its volunteers and champions. In particular, we would like to highlight the enthusiasm and dedication of one young person who has joined the Land Care group. She has even brought her mother to all of the events so far!


Rose Zhang is a 17-year-old bundle of energy. She is smart, sweet, hard-working, and very passionate about environmental biodiversity conservation and protection. Her determination and commitment to SOS Land Care work is especially commendable because the extreme heat and smoky air are not ideal working conditions. A special thanks goes out to this budding environmentalist. SOS Land Care wishes her best of luck in her Duke of Edinburgh Award challenge. We look forward to continuing to have her as part of our volunteer team!


Toxic invasive species along the riverbank

Some opportunistic invasive plant species have been thriving because of the drought that we have been experiencing this summer. Pictured below is the common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium). This invasive plant, which perhaps surprisingly is part of the sunflower group, has been spotted along the banks of the Seine River, especially in the area near the Niakwa bridge.

The head of the common cocklebur consists of two pistillate flowers enveloped by bristly involucre. These involucres transform themselves into burs once the flowers ripen, which facilitates their dispersal along waterbodies.


While this is a lovely plant at first glance, each section of it is very poisonous. Both humans and animals must avoid consuming it, so please be careful during your strolls with your pets. Anyone who encounters this plant is asked to send us a photo and its location through the contact form on our website.


Further Reading:

[1] https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/57920-Xanthium-strumarium

[2] https://www.indefenseofplants.com/blog/2017/9/17/understanding-the-cocklebur?rq=cocklebur