Section of Rideau Trail south of Kanata closed due to wild parsnip

Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.
Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.

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.

Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.
Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.

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2 thoughts on “Section of Rideau Trail south of Kanata closed due to wild parsnip”

  1. This is a nature trail used by people living a wholesome lifestyle. I see people enjoying walks, runs, biking, walking their dogs on it all the time. I am sure that I am not alone in my dissapointment in the lack of ingenuity in coming up with a solution. Are herbicides the only solution? Have alternatives been explored?

  2. I would really like to see if it has leaves, & what they look like.
    I have a plant growing in our garden & I wonder what it is.
    When I see its flower buds. not sure I have seen this before in our garden.
    Thank you.

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