Broom Busters back in action against local weed

Qualicum Beach Broom Busters take their loppers out for a spin

Volunteer Lila Volkas got a little more than she bargained for while Broom busting. The California visitor was thrilled by the deer skull she pulled out of the broom.

Volunteer Lila Volkas got a little more than she bargained for while Broom busting. The California visitor was thrilled by the deer skull she pulled out of the broom.

The invasion of the yellow-headed aliens started a long time ago and the fight-back by humans has only recently begun, but broom-buster Joanne Sales and her team are slowly winning the war.

The Broom Busters of Qualicum Beach continued the fight Saturday as they loaded their loppers and took to the highway to seek out and destroy the invasive species, in hopes of at least stemming the tide.

Sales, who founded Broom Busters in 2006 with a few ardent volunteers, said her team has grown over the years, with others not affiliated taking up the broom-busting torch.

“We have wonderful co-operation from the Ministry of Transportation and the Town of Qualicum Beach,” Sales said. “There’s also a group of retired men who love to go out and cut broom. They call themselves the Broom of Doom.”

The key to the successful eradication of broom in Qualicum Beach, Sales said, is for people to adopt a portion of roadway and take responsibility for keeping it clear of the weed.

“That’s the only way it can work is for people to adopt a part of a road and say OK, broom won’t grow here,” she said.

Although the battle against broom is going fairly well in Qualicum Beach, the message about the alien species is starting to take root in other communities as well, she added.

“There’s a whole new group started up in Courtenay,” Sales said. “As well, Parksville is turning around. It looked hopeless, but now we are starting to hear from volunteers there, too.”

Sales said people who would like to take part in community broom cutting sessions should look at the website, to find out where the next cut will be held.

“Coming to community cuts is important because we can show how to do it right,” she said.

“You have to cut it right down to the ground. If not, it grows back.”

Cutting broom while it’s in bloom is also important, she added, because when its trademark yellow flowers are in full bloom, the vast majority of the plant’s energy is devoted to the flowers, so if it is lopped off at ground level, it’s far more likely to die, rather than regrow.


Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read