Is English Ivy Bad?

Date posted: April 8, 2014

According to some, English Ivy is a problem and Bellevue College is now presented with a report that asks our campus to look at this possible issue.

The “Recommendation Report for the Removal and Replacement of English Ivy on the Bellevue College Campus” report was just released, a report that the Issaquah Environmental Council (IEC) asked to have conducted; and findings could end up changing our campus ecology.  According to this report, the change would be for the better.

The research and recommendations were part of a request by the IEC as a continuation of their ongoing “IvyOut” program which seeks to mitigate damage done by ivy in public areas.  The report address the issues of English Ivy’s invasive nature on our environment by covering what English Ivy is, how it has become listed as a class C noxious weed, what the removal could look like or cost the Bellevue College campus and finally what native plant species are suggested alternative replacements.

Upon reading you will discover a brief synopsis on the different environmental effects of English Ivy from establishing Ivy deserts that choke out native plants, to how English Ivy could be adding to structure deterioration and many other problems such as providing hiding areas for vermin.  This report also provides a breakdown of removal options from manual, to smothering or burning methods and even using goats to eradicate the plant on campus.  The research is wrapped up with photos of 24 native plant species and their growing conditions as his suggested replacement alternatives.

Another project that is underway is by the Secretary of Environmental and Social Responsibility Representative, Alex Clark, and another fellow BC student who will be breaking ground on the first campus beds to be replanted with native plants.  Both replanted beds are close to the HR department in the A building and one is a shaded bed while the other is in the sun.

As the photos show, the beds currently hold ivy, some non-native flowers and mulch so bringing in the following plants will change the visual as well as ecological footprint of our school and possibly could be the first steps in the bigger picture that Baxter brings up in his report.

With discussions on campus for expanding food options and more garden access, English Ivy might be the next weed to be uprooted at Bellevue College to make room for more palatable or at least less-evasive, better options.

What do you think?

Would you rather have this growing on campus… English Ivy growing up a tree

Or this?….