A big thank you goes out to our vigilant neighbor and resident Master Gardener, Peggy Cooper, who identified poison hemlock (a noxious weed) growing in the rain gardens at Gemenskap Park. She posted the information on NextDoor and it was picked up by KIRO-TV. They came out to interview her and brought along folks from the King County noxious weed control program as an opportunity to spread the word on a recently launched noxious weed mobile app, called “King County Connect“, that allows users to report potentially noxious weeds. See the full KIRO interview here.
King County successfully removed the the poison hemlock plants, but we have not confirmed how they found their way into the rain gardens. Peggy believes that seeds may have been introduced in the potting soil of some of the shrubs planted in the rain gardens. We have informed Seattle parks, and they will be contacting the contractor who installed the landscaping.
According to the King County website, “poison hemlock is a Class B noxious weed, is a widespread toxic biennial plant in the Carrot Family often found in open sunny areas, fields, vacant lots, and on roadsides. Eating even a small amount of any part of this plant can kill people, livestock, and wildlife.“
Although all of the poison hemlock plants have been removed, we ask that you be vigilant, like Peggy, and use the “King County Connect” app to report any new growth (or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll report for you).