A slide showing BroomBuster volunteers over several years, as presented by the organizations founder and director, Joanne Sales, to Parksville city council on Feb. 7, 2022. (Submitted photo)

A slide showing BroomBuster volunteers over several years, as presented by the organizations founder and director, Joanne Sales, to Parksville city council on Feb. 7, 2022. (Submitted photo)

BroomBusters present update to Parksville city council on removing invasive plants

Dry and flammable Scotch broom a fire hazard during hotter, drier summer months

BroomBusters are preparing for the 2022 season.

During Monday’s (Feb. 7) Parksville city council meeting, Joanne Sales with the BroomBusters Invasive Plant Society went before council to present an update on the organization’s current goals and challenges.

Sales also went over the necessity to remove Scotch broom from within the city and its surrounding area for fire safety concerns.

“What’s wrong with Scotch broom? It’s an alien invasive plant that spreads rapidly; forms dense thickets; crowds out native plants; prevents forest re-growth; causes dramatic loss of diversity; is highly flammable; is toxic to grazing animals and wildlife; and takes over farm, forest and parkland,” she said.

With the advent of hotter, drier and longer summers due to climate change, Sales said the area will see more summer broom, which is dry and flammable, has a high oil content and naturally occurring dead branches.

READ MORE: City of Parksville, volunteer groups aim to control non-native plant species in the region

At the end of the presentation, Coun. Teresa Patterson put forward a motion, seconded by Coun. Mark Chandler, for city staff to have in-kind support to collect broom for the 2022 season. Patterson’s motion unanimously passed in favour.

As per Sales’s submitted request to appear as a delegation to Monday’s council meeting, the BroomBusters have been invited to be part of a documentary about Broom from California to B.C., which will be filmed in spring.

”We will cut the broom when it’s in bloom. Our purpose is for the sake of farms, forests and the future for our children and future generations,” said Sales.

Although the organization has seen plenty of volunteers over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sales said they are always looking for new volunteers.

More information on the organization can be found at www.broombusters.org.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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