Wild Parsnip Program spraying begins May 19

WEST CARLETON – The City of Ottawa will begin spraying for wild parsnip next Tuesday (May 19) staff informed council in a memo today (May 5).

“This memo is to inform you that the 2020 Wild Parsnip Program will start on May 19, weather permitting,” Parks, Forestry and Stormwater Service director Luc Gagné wrote. “Similar to years’ past, the goal is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas highly infested while ensuring environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted.”

In total, council has approved $198,000 for this year’s strategy.

The 2020 strategy consists of the following:

  • Continue and expand Clearview herbicide application to highly infested areas
  • Continue with mowing, adjusting frequency and timing to best coincide with herbicide applications
  • Re-map infestation 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.
  • Staff will prepare weekly updates for councillors on roadside and parkland spraying locations within each ward
  • Communication materials (a postcard and an information sheet) are available for distribution to councillors for their constituents.

Approximately 1,200 lane kilometres of roadsides/pathways and more than 150 locations of parkland will be treated this year.

“Roadside cutting is currently underway and additional herbicide application may be considered again for the fall season,” Gagné said. “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.”

Should a resident opt out of the program, it will become their responsibility to manage any Wild Parsnip infestation adjacent to their property, as required by the Weed Control Act, 1990.