Policeman's helmet

Volunteers by a pile of policeman’s helmet.

SEASIDE – Volunteers can participate in a day of weeding at Circle Creek Conservation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20.

North Coast Land Conservancy is in the final phase of a three-year assault on the weed known as policeman’s helmet in the Necanicum River watershed.

Policeman’s helmet (impatiens glandulifera), a highly invasive non-native plant, has taken hold throughout the Necanicum watershed, choking out native plants and reducing plant and animal diversity while increasing the risk of streambank erosion.

Policeman’s helmet is named for the shape of the blossom, which resembles an old-fashioned British policeman’s headwear. It is native to the Himalayas and was introduced in North America as an ornamental garden plant but has since spread widely.

NCLC and the Necanicum Watershed Council have been working together to remove this fast-growing, fast-spreading plant and replace it with native vegetation.

Volunteers will be working with NCLC’s summer stewardship interns hired to eradicate these and other weeds found on the Necanicum and lower Columbia rivers.

Policeman’s helmet is easy to pull; the next step is to pile uprooted plants and stomp on them to crush the stems and prevent the seed pods from developing or maturing.

For more information, visit NCLCtrust.org/hands-on-stewardship.

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