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The small, white flower clusters can reach up to 10 feet and, to the unaware landscaper, would look pretty in a garden. Its leaves are bright green and the root looks like a carrot or parsnip. But the plant is also an invader that can wreak havoc if it's not contained.
The clusters are poison hemlock, a noxious weed that, as its name suggests, is toxic to people and animals. It's one of dozens of harmful plants on King County's list of noxious weeds—nonnative plants that often grow rapidly and can hurt the ecosystem by overwhelming native plants—that officials want to control, often using field reports from the public.
App - King - County - Connect - Tuesday
A new mobile app called King County Connect, which launched Tuesday, aims to make the process easier for residents who want to report noxious weeds to specialists. The app allows users to take a photograph of the plant, submit the photo with an automatic date and location and receive status updates to find out what county employees did in response to the tip.
Users can match their photo using a photo library of common noxious weeds and include the GPS coordinates of the plant. It's a far cry from the previous system, when residents had to call or submit a written report, often with descriptions like "on the side of the road," or "in the park" said Sasha Shaw of King County's Noxious Weed Control Program. At a news conference Tuesday at Marymoor Park, Shaw and other county specialists demonstrated how to use the app using noxious weeds sitting...
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