The Broombusters Invasive Plant Society received a grant from the Ministry of Transportation to hire workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the ministry’s fiscal year end, the work needed to be completed by the end of March. A small group of Parksville residents have been out cutting broom on Highway 19 between Englishman River and the Coombs Exit. There are also groups in Nanaimo, Comox Valley and Powell River.
The ministry wants Scotch broom removed from the highways because broom is an aggressive, alien invasive plant that crowds out native plants, inhibits forest regrowth and is a fire hazard. Even when cut in March, the removal of the mature broom on the highway will contribute significantly to the long-term success of all broom removal efforts.
The workers will be finished shortly and in late April and May, Broombusters volunteers will be back on roadsides and parks to actually ‘cut broom in bloom’. Broombusting is a useful activity during the pandemic, as you are outside and never need to be near to anyone else. Check www.broombusters.org to see how you can participate.
— NEWS Staff