(Hit Squad member Elizabeth Salter is reporting a wild parsnip sighting using the EddMapS Ontario app. Photo: MCVA-Facebook)
Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is increasingly common within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties. Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant. This can result in long-term scarring of the skin.
Should weather permit, the Wild Parsnip Program will begin on May 25, 2021. As in years past, the goal is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in highly infested areas while ensuring that environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted. Stittsville parks come within the parameters for herbicide treatments. Given the large number of public access points for parks, signs will be posted every 100 meters.
The following is a City list of proposed Stittsville parks and other areas that will be receiving herbicide treatments:
- Albert Argue Park – 735 Rosehill
- Alexander Grove Park – 10 Warner Colpitts Lane
- Feedmill Creek Park – 1080 Carp Road
- Johnwoods Linear Park – Maplegrove to Rosehill
- Lloydalex Row
- Losino Boulevard
- Lower Poole Creek Corridor – Sweetnam Drive
- Trans Canada Trail – Robert Grant to Rouncey
- Par-la-Ville Boulevard
- Pioneer Plain Park – 1018 Stittsville Main
- Poole Creek Pathway – 48 Beverley Street
- Poole Creek Ravine – 65 Huntmar
- Hazeldean Road – between Terry Fox and Iber
- Stittsville Main Street – between Westridge and Morel Private
- Stormwater Management Area – 5401 Abbott Street
- Stormwater Management Area – 6043 Hazeldean Road
- Stormwater Management Area – Echowoods Park – 66 Lloydalex Crescent
- Stormwater Management Area – 820 Terry Fox Drive
- Trans Canada Trail: Part 1 – Entrance at Abbott and Robert Grant
- Trans Canada Trail: Part 2 – Entrance at Westridge
- Vic Whittaker/Blackstone Pond – 432 Cavesson
The 2021 Wild Parsnip Strategy will allow the City team to:
- Continue and expand the application of Clearview herbicide to highly infested areas;
- Continue mowing operations, adjusting frequency and timing to best coincide with herbicide applications;
- Re-map infestation areas and levels;
- Continue the communication and awareness campaign in collaboration with partners in Ottawa Public Health (OPH), Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), National Capital Commission (NCC), etc.;
- Provide weekly updates for Councillors on roadside and parkland spraying locations within each ward; and
- Prepare communication materials for Councillors to share with residents.
Caution signs will be installed in areas where there are high levels of wild parsnip infestation. City staff will continue to install caution signs in areas where the public may reasonably expect to encounter wild parsnip. The City encourages residents to be mindful of the plant when entering non-groomed portions of wooded and naturalized areas.
For additional information on wild parsnip, please consult the City of Ottawa’s website.
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