Plant Stewardship

Reflecting on Plant Stewardship and Land Healing   

“Take a moment to yourself, close your eyes and give thanks to the land before we enter and start our work.” – Ron Sans

The overall intent of dominant introduced plant management is to: reduce spread potential into other areas, restore habitats for native plant species and, above all, minimize disruption of the natural environment.  To have the most effect – management actions of dominant introduced plants are prioritized where their presence is sparse, in small colonies and within or near valuable or sensitive habitats of native plants.

Inspired by Indigenous concepts of land stewardship, each time Friends of Second Marsh sets out to work on the trails we set our intentions …

  • Our actions will be thoughtful, minimize harm and minimize disturbance to nature while we aim to improve the habitats we visit. 
  • We do only what we need to do. 
  • We take only what we need to take.
  • We step only where we need to step. Every action and every minute in nature counts.

Caution!   Many plant species have irritating or toxic properties.  Always avoid touching plants you are not familiar with.  In particular, Woodland Angelica, Wild Parsnip and Cow Parsnip have toxic sap.  It can cause phytophotodermatitis – a burn-like rash after skin is exposed to plant juices and then skin is exposed to sunlight. 

Dominant introduced plant Watch List

Dog Strangling Vine

European Buckthorn

Flowering Rush

Garlic Mustard


Himalayan Balsam


Mock Strawberry

Multiflora Rose


Russian Olive

Wild Parsnip

Woodland Angelica Yellow Iris

Preferred plant List

Coming in 2024! 

Do you love Goldenrod, Purple Asters, Sugar Maples, Jewelweed, Cattails and others?  Contribute to the knowledge bank. Let us know your favourites and why by emailing us

What are we doing about dominant introduced plant species?

FSM staff and Lead Stewards are finding resources (human and financial capital), working with land owners, researching, prioritizing, and leading management action activities with volunteers and hired services.

Volunteer Stewards are enjoying the cameraderie of learning, training and completing field work to manage plants under the direction of FSM staff and Lead Stewards.

Professional Contractors are consultants and service providers to FSM staff.  Contractors are engaged to complete landscape level management actions that are not suitable for manual management.

Want to become a FSM plant steward or organize an outing for your group to learn about plant identification, manual plant management techniques and land healing? Contact us.  Education, training, and supplies provided.

Want to ensure this important work continues?

Contribute your hands or resources to the cause.  Volunteer, Donate, Advocate!