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Himalayan Balsam Pull – Afternoon, July 7

Every year, rare takes on ecological restoration initiatives to enhance and rehabilitate the unique native habitats of this urban land trust. Join us and help conserve native biodiversity through the removal of invasive species! Volunteers can expect to learn invasive plant identification as well as proper removal techniques. This is a great opportunity for those looking to gain in-field experience with ecological restoration and become more familiar with the flora of southern Ontario.

Due to COVID-19, the 2022 field season may look a little different. The events listed below are subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19. Please keep an eye on our events calendar throughout the season to get up to date information on events. The following events are free but registration is required and events have limited spaces available.

Himalayan Balsam is an aggressive annual herb, native to the western Himalayas. It was introduced to North America as a garden ornamental due to its large, showy, pink flower. Each plant can have upwards of 800 seeds which explode out of pods when touched, landing up to 5m away. This allows for rapid spread where it outcompetes native vegetation, including perennial plants, within riparian zones such as river banks and wetlands, leading to soil erosion. The flowers also produce an abundance of nectar, which draws pollinators away from surrounding, native plants. Volunteers will help remove Himalayan Balsam and surrounding invasive species from our sensitive floodplains, resulting in increased biodiversity on site as well as along the Grand River down river from the target site.

Cost: This event is FREE

For more information, contact rare’s Conservation Technician:

519-650-9336 x114 or

Recommended Attire:

  • Long pants
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Suitable foot wear (sturdy, closed-toed shoes or boots)
  • Rubber boots or hip waders if working in or around a creek or wetland
  • Hat
  • Work or gardening gloves

Additional Items to Bring:

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunscreen and Insect repellent
  • Snacks and/or bag lunch depending on time of day

Volunteer opportunities are broken up into morning (9:30AM-12:30PM) and afternoon (1:30PM-4:30PM) sessions. The time of day will be indicated at registration. If interested in participating for both a morning and an afternoon session, please register for both time slots separately.

rare Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Road
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
(519) 650-9336
Charitable Registration:
#8776 15914 RR0001