Don’t Let It Loose! Be a Responsible Pet Owner

As a suitable follow up from #WorldTurtleDay yesterday and to highlight the population of endangered Painted Turtles who make Burnaby Lake Regional Park their home.

The Invasive Species Council of BC has proclaimed May  as Invasive Species Action Month.

While we usually think of invasive plants first, they also include animals and organisms that are not native to BC, and have serious impacts on our environment, economy and society. Invasive species can out-compete native species for food and space, damage ecosystems, disrupt food sources and introduce parasites and disease.  Some of the most serious invasive species were originally sold as pets or plants for water gardens and aquariums.

Most pets don’t survive in the wild – some die by being killed by predators or hit by cars, and others die of starvation. It is inhumane to release an animal into an environment it is not accustomed to. Releasing a pet into an unsuitable habitat is also considered animal cruelty and charges can be laid (BC SPCA).  However, several species have the ability to thrive and reproduce in their new environment.

The following exotic pet and plant species are commonly released into the wild, and have had serious impacts on BC’s native ecosystems and natural flora and fauna.

  • Red Eared Slider Turtles
  • European Rabbit
  • American Bullfrog
  • Koi Carp
  • Goldfish
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil
  • Parrot Feather
  • Brazilian Elodea

For example, the  Endangered Western Painted Turtle is a native Species at Risk within Burnaby Lake Regional Park and has faced many challenges with Red Eared Slider Turtles from pet shops that people have released into Burnaby Lake when they decide they no longer want their pet.  with which they compete.

Plants and animals should never be released into the wild: For information on actions to take visit and  Any sightings of these or other invasive species should be reported to the local invasive species committee.  Remember to sign the Don’t Let It Loose Commitment Form.

May Flowers at Last!

Rhododendron Festival Image 2017

It was long, weary winter and a very wet Spring so far. We’re hoping all those April showers are resulting in some gorgeous May flowers with more blue skies and warmer days ahead. We’ll be at the annual City of Burnaby Rhodofest on Sunday with information about invasive species, nest boxes and our activities at Burnaby Lake Regional Park. The forecast is for a sunny warm day – See you there!

Click on the link below for more details:

Burnaby Rhodofest 2017

Burnaby Board of Trade Eco-Hero



In celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd), the Burnaby Board of Trade asked its members of their community to nominate Eco-Heroes in Burnaby. They celebrated their Pledge for a Sustainable Community heroes and others in the community who are working hard to make a difference to the environment and helping to create a sustainable Burnaby.


RowingWe were so pleased to find out that one of our super volunteers, Dave Stafford, was nominated by the organizing committee of the National Rowing  Championships and Canada Cup regattas at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion.  He’s a familiar face in the community for all the great work he does with them, as well as with the Burnaby Lake Park Association stewardship and outreach programs and the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC.

The organizing committee of the 2016 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup Regattas at Burnaby Lake (from Rowing BC) were overwhelmed by how much of a positive impact Dave created by ensuring the waste captured at their event was handled extremely well as he helped individuals sort their garbage/recycling so that nothing ended up in the incorrect bin . His efforts enabled them to offer an exceptional event from all perspectives and because of it they believe those who participated were inspired and will take on similar initiatives at other regattas. There was significantly less waste collected after the regatta and this helped them set the ideal standard for years to come. Thanks for helping Dave, they say that they could not have done it without you!


We would also like to congratulate our fellow Burnaby Environmental Stewards Nick Kvenich of the Eagle Creek Streamkeepers and John Templeton of the Stoney Creek Environment Committee for being recognized by the Burnaby Board of Trade.

To read about all of the Burnaby Board of Trade’s Eco Heroes, click here.