Sweep Island clean

With broom now in bloom, Broombusters issue local towns a challenge

Broombusters are confident they can make a broom mountain much higher than this if they really get a strong turnout.

Broombusters are confident they can make a broom mountain much higher than this if they really get a strong turnout.

Joanne Sales is the last person who would make a mountain out of a molehill — at least, not when she can make it from invasive broom.

The head of Qualicum Beach Broombusters this week issued a challenge to both Parksville and Qualicum Beach residents to build the biggest mountain of cut broom possible.

The challenge is two-fold, Sales said. Besides the creation of Broom Mountain or, even the Broom Range of mountains, she’s also challenging the communities of Qualicum Beach and Parksville to lace up their sensible shoes, latch onto some loppers and see which group, individual or community as a whole can bring out the most broom busters to the event, slated for May 18, 19 and 20.

The focus of the attention, she said, will be the highway interchange in Parksville, which is heavily infested with the alien species.

“This spot is just so terrible,” she said. “The broom is completely out of control.”

Sales said Qualicum Beach Broombusters have cleared out the vast majority of broom from within town limits, so they want to help Parksville tackle their own infestation. However, she stressed that it’s going to take a concentrated effort to make an impact on the problem.

“Courtenay is getting their interchange cleared right now and Qualicum Beach is in fairly good shape, so Parksville will be left as a sea of broom,” she said. “Rather than wait around for somebody else to do it, let’s do it ourselves. we’re challenging Oceanside community to show what can be done when the community comes together. So many communities have given up on this, but we want to say, let’s not give up.”

Ideally, she said, other communities that have been infested by the Scotch pest will be inspired by a strong turnout in Parksville to take up the loppers themselves.

To take part in the Broombusters challenge, residents don’t need to have experience or even their own loppers. Those can be supplied.  All they have to do is show up at by the train station in Parksville on Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sign up first for a highway insurance form, then head with everyone else to the interchange and get cutting.

People can also sign up on Saturday, this time at 10 a.m. at the weigh station at Highway 19 and Kay Road in Parksville, or on Sunday, although the location will be determined by the location where the team feels they can come up with the biggest mountain of broom.

Sales stressed that participants should wear a hat, sensible shoes and gloves and bring some water and a snack.

Although Broombusters has about 40 pairs of loppers available for people who don’t have their own, anyone who has their own set is encouraged to bring it.

Volunteers can show up any time during the weekend, or for all three days.

The individual, group or club that brings the most cutters will win the coveted Golden Loppers, supplied by The News.

There will be other prizes awarded as well, Sales said.

“We’re asking local businesses if they can offer refreshments, a gift certificate or something fun to thank the volunteers and make the weekend more fun.”

For more information, to donate, or to keep track of where Sunday’s cut is going to take place, visit broombusters.org.


Just Posted

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read