Invasive species removals coming to parks and natural areas

Guelph, Ont., April 6, 2023 – We’re working to improve ecological health in our parks and natural areas by removing invasive plant species like buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, dog strangling vine and Phragmites.

Removals take place throughout the year using mechanical and herbicide methods. The work for each site takes three to five days to complete, weather permitting. During removals, park facilities and most trails will remain open, however, we ask that you avoid marked work areas until signs are removed.

Removal will be taking place between the months of April to September. Timelines for the following work in specific parks and trail sites may be revised and refined throughout the season. Work will be properly signed on-site in advance of any treatment.

Japanese knotweed

  • Downtown Trail near Ann St. and Earl St.
  • Eramosa River Trail
  • Heritage Park
  • James St. Trail
  • Mico Valeriote Park
  • Northumberland Park
  • Paisley and Edinburgh Park & Natural Area
  • Rapids Side Trail
  • River Run Centre Property
  • Royal Recreational Trail near Edinburgh Rd. S.
  • Silvercreek Trail
  • Speed River Trail near Heritage Park
  • Spurline Trail
  • Westminster Woods Trail Entrance near Beaver Meadows Dr.

Dog strangling vine

  • Dunhill Park Trail
  • Eramosa River Trail Natural Areas
  • Goldie Park
  • Hadati Creek Trail System
  • Howitt Park


  • Bailey Park
  • Burns Dr. Park
  • Centennial Park
  • Clair Road Natural Restoration Area
  • Colonial Drive Park
  • Crane Park
  • Eramosa River Trail Natural Areas
  • Franchetto Park
  • Hadati Creek Trail
  • Kortright Hills Trail Natural Area
  • MacAlister Park
  • Marksam Park
  • Peter Misersky Park
  • Preservation Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Speed River Trail natural Area Entrance off Ingram Dr.
  • Stormwater Pond #111 Near Watson Parkway N.
  • Watson Road North Trail Natural Area
  • Westminster Woods Trail Natural Area
  • Wolfond Park West


  • Gosling Gardens Park and Natural Areas
  • Stormwater Pond at Niska Rd and Ptarmigan Dr.
  • Natural Area at Edinburgh Rd S. and Gordon St.
  • Natural Area adjacent to Harts Lane West


Why we remove invasive species from parks and natural areas

Dog strangling vine, Japanese knotweed, Buckthorn and Phragmites are invasive species that are not native to Ontario. Invasive species crowd out native species, threaten ecological integrity of parks and natural areas, and reduce habitat for wildlife. Removing both invasive species before they establish and spread protects our parks and natural areas.

There are some exemptions available to municipalities under the Pesticide Act that allow us to use pesticides. We assess our needs for pesticides on a case-by-case basis, and only use them for forestry and natural resource management where native ecosystems are threatened. We never use pesticides for cosmetic reasons.

How we’re removing dog strangling vine, Japanese knotweed, buckthorn and Phragmites

We will use machinery and herbicide to remove buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, dog strangling vine and Phragmites from parks and natural areas.

We assess our parks and natural areas regularly and, in many cases, mechanical methods alone are not effective. Herbicide is chosen for its overall benefit to the natural area. These benefits include:

  • Less disruption to the surrounding plants and wildlife that machinery would cause
  • A better chance of preventing the plants from sprouting, lessening the chance of disturbing the area with further removals

Garlon™ RTU is used to control the buckthorn. Japanese knotweed, dog strangling vine and Phragmites are controlled with Roundup WeatherPro®.

These products are registered for use in Canada and have been tested to ensure minimal risks to human health and the environment. Licensed applicators will apply Garlon™ or Roundup WeatherPro® directly onto stems of invasive plants as appropriate. Using a targeted application means we will use less and protect surrounding plants.

For more information on Garlon™ or Roundup WeatherPro® visit the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) website or download their app, Pesticide Labels, for on-the-go information.

Stay out of the work area when signs are present

Both Garlon™ and Roundup WeatherPro® have a low exposure risk to people and animals when used correctly. However, the treatment zones are closed to pedestrians during herbicide application. Please avoid entering the treatment area until signs are removed.

For more information

[email protected]