Wild Parsnip Management

To begin this week, I just want to thank everyone involved in another successful Dickinson Days, especially the Manotick Kiwanis Club.  While rain threatened Friday night festivities, everything went off without a hitch.  The crowds were out in full force on Saturday with absolutely perfect weather. It was great to see so many people out and enjoying everything Manotick has to offer during our annual celebration in honour of Moss Kent Dickinson.

Wild Parsnip Management

Every year, at this time, I promote awareness for wild parsnip.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this poisonous plant, wild parsnip is a noxious weed that is commonly found throughout the region in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as residential properties.

It is rarely found in regularly maintained urban environments; however, it is prominent in rural areas and suburban areas where grass cutting is not completed as frequently, and can then be spread to adjacent maintained areas such as parks, pathways, and, in some cases, private property.

Wild parsnip poses some health and environmental threats including:

  • Toxic sap found in wild parsnip leaves, stems and flowers can cause severe skin rashes and blisters when it comes in contact with the skin in the presence of sunlight. Sap can present both direct and indirect health risks as clothing, and equipment can remain sources of exposure.
  • Wild parsnip’s ability to rapidly regenerate reduces native plants’ abilities to compete for space, which in turn reduces biodiversity.
  • Incidences of wild parsnip pose potential negative impacts to residents and field operations staff alike as it continues to spread year over year.

In past years, we’ve only focused on cutting areas where wild parsnip grows as a means of managing the invasive species.  However, I am happy to report that, this year, the Public Works Department will implement a Wild Parsnip Strategy to test the effectiveness of various methods to control and reduce wild parsnip on City property. The results of this project will help in developing a long-term management strategy. The strategy includes the following:

  • Identifying locations suitable for herbicide application will be piloted. Locations will be signed prior to herbicide application.
  • Identifying selected locations where an increased mowing strategy will be piloted.
  • Designing a monitoring project to track infestation levels and to assess the effectiveness of piloted strategies.
  • Developing an education and public health awareness campaign.

My focus, in recent years, has been on education and awareness.  The more people who know what wild parsnip is, the less likely residents will have a negative experience.  After working with staff, and consulting with neighbouring municipalities as well as the Ministry of the Environment, toward a management plan, I am very pleased that we are taking a more aggressive approach in dealing with this noxious weed.

Report wild parsnip on City property by calling 3-1-1 if the issue is related to an immediate hazard to people, or let us know with our on-line reporting form available at ottawa.ca/en/serviceottawa (keyword: parsnip). For more information about wild parsnip, please visit ottawa.ca.

Summer Registration Now Available at the Goulbourn Skating Club

The Goulbourn Skating Club is pleased to offer summer skating to Starskaters Mondays and Thursdays in July and August at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex in Stittsville.  All programs offered by the Goulbourn Skating Club are taught by nationally certified Skate Canada instructors.

Visit our online registration page www.goulbournskatingclub.com/summer-registration.html. For more information, please visit the website goulbournskatingclub.com.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • June 15th – Rural Ottawa South Support Services Annual General Meeting at Orchard View on the Rideau, 5:00pm
  • June 18th - Father’s Day Luncheon at the Kars R.A. Centre, 12:00pm
  • June 20th – Richmond Family Fun Day at the Richmond Fairgrounds, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • June 27th – Manotick Secondary Plan Review Open House at the RVCA Building, 9:00am – Noon
  • July 1st – Canada Day in the Gower at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre

Future Column Topics

Just recently, I received a phone call from a resident asking me to outline the Hydro One vs. Hydro Ottawa situation in my weekly column.  While I often respond to emails on a variety of topics, I don’t always share those responses with more than those who contact me.  Therefore, as per the suggestion, I’ll be sure to dedicate a future column to the hydro issue. 

Having said all of that, I am interested to know whether or not there are any other specific subjects you would like me to write about.  Is there something you feel I don’t highlight?  Is there anything the City does that you would like to know more about?  Send me an email or give me a call and let me know.  I am always looking for subjects to write about and your suggestions will come in handy when I have those writer’s block moments.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.