The 2018 Wild Parsnip Program will start on May 23rd, 2018, weather permitting. Similar to years’ past, the goal is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas that are highly infested while ensuring that environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted. In total, Council has approved $198,000 for the year’s strategy.
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.
The best way to avoid contact with Wild Parsnip is to become familiar with what the plant looks like so you do not accidently come in contact with the plant.
The 2018 Strategy consists of the following:
- Continue and expand ClearView herbicide application to highly infested areas and test the effectiveness of the Truvist herbicide at specified sites
- Continue with mowing, adjusting frequency and timing to best coincide with herbicide applications
- Monitor test plots for the herbicides effectiveness
- Re-map infestation levels
- Continue the communication and awareness campaign in collaboration with partners in Ottawa Public Health, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), NCC, etc.
- Staff will prepare weekly updates to Councillors on parkland spraying locations within each ward.
- Communication materials (a postcard and an information sheet) are available for distribution to Councillors for their constituents; materials will also be sent to local schools
The program will use Clearview Herbicide (PCP #29752, containing aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl) and Truvist (PCP #30920, containing aminocyclopyrachlor and chlorsulfuron) under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada).
Similar to last year, rural residents who do not wish to have the roadside adjacent to their property sprayed have been given the option to opt-out of the Wild Parsnip program.
Staff will continue to monitor and map wild parsnip infestation levels throughout the remainder of the year.
For additional information on wild parsnip, please consult the City of Ottawa website.