Part of the Rideau Trail has been closed south of Kanata due to wild parsnip. From the Rideau Trail Association web site:
Regrettably we will be closing a portion of the Rideau Trail, approximately 3.2 kilometers in total, that being unopened road allowances east and west of Eagleson Road (south of Rushmore Road) and west of Richmond Road due to the danger posed by wild parsnip growth. We have contacted the City of Ottawa public works manager who has advised that they are looking into the situation but cannot yet provide us with a definite time as to when the wild parsnip will be eradicated. We will be posting signage in the near future redirecting members to an alternate route. In the interim, we ask your co-operation to avoid this area.
It grows in the ditched along the roads, just off our soccer fields and along our walking and bike paths. It looks pretty with it’s golden flowers, but it is nasty!
The City of Ottawa says: “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 severe 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. The best way to avoid contact with wild parsnip is to become familiar with what the plant looks like so you do not accidentally get burned.” (You can learn more about how the city is combatting the problem here…)
Be careful! It is out there… everywhere.
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