With considerable success in Qualicum Beach, Broombusters is hoping for more progress in Parksville this year.
“I think that Parksville can make huge progress this year!” said Broombuster founder Joanne Sales. “Let’s do it. Even two hours a year. But of course it is fun — so more is even more fun,” she said in an e-mail to supporters.
She points out that while Qualiucm Beach council has asked staff to “investigate ways the town can… make Qualicum Beach the first officially recognized broom-free municipality on Vancouver Island within two years,” Parksville already has a bylaw that requires that property owners remove broom and other invasive plants.
She said that while that’s a great start, it’s also an opportunity for the group to help educate the private property owners on how to remove the broom successfully, and even help them if they want.
She said that while Parksville was slower than some neighbouring communities in dealing with Scotch broom — a weed brought over from Europe for its bright yellow flowers — volunteer efforts have been increasing.
People might enjoy the flowers, but broom is called “the scourge of pastureland” because it takes over, damages farms, prevents forest re-growth, is a fire hazard and is toxic to some animals.
The broom cutting season is still a couple months away— “cut broom in bloom” — but Sales encourages interested property owners and volunteers to contact her if they want information, or to help.
Contact Sales at 250-752-4816, firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.broombusters.org.