Broom Action

Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Broom Action Team

Team members remove a load of cuttings from a high bench on Henderson Hill
Photo credit:TBA

About Broom & The Team

Scotch broom is possibly the most virulent and pervasive plant invader to be found in southern British Columbia. Many land owners have taken it upon themselves to root out this stifling menace. Though for a short time in spring the yellow flowers present a pretty picture (the original reason for its importation in the 19th century) the mature plants become straggly and ultimately in their "arbriform" manifestation they become a substantial eyesore. But more importantly their extensive canopy shuts out the light, making it impossible for grasses, wild flowers and tree seedlings to take root. Furthermore a heavy infestation disrupts drainage and the oily nature of the broom wood and foliage, makes for an extraordinary and dangerous fire hazard. The Conservancy's Broom Action Team began work in 2005 with the mission to control and perhaps eventually eradicate the broom from Mayne's public lands and road verges. The group meets weekly in furtherance of this demanding objective!

Talking to the Team in 2012

Bennett Bay .... An Opportunity for Weekend Visitors to get involved too!

Erin Ward, then Conservancy's Stewardship Lead, was cutting, pulling & sawing broom at Bennett Bay on Saturdays with a number of volunteers who joined our restoration efforts there. See the poster below for more details! (Click to enlarge)

Henderson ....

Malcolm Inglis, Conservancy Director, will be leading groups of volunteers (see the earlier appeal appearing at the foot of this page) of broom bashers to deal with re-growth in Henderson Park. We will be on the job most Wednesdays. Here are the details in an e-mail sent to current and past members of BAT:

Hello all, You are receiving this email because you are on Rob Underhill's distribution list for broom removal events on Mayne. If you don't want to be on the list, just let me know.

I'd like to organize a broom removal work party for this coming Wednesday, May 23, from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm in Henderson Park. The focus will be to continue some previous work to clear a buffer around the conservancy exclosure just above Beechwood Drive. So let's gather on Beechwood immediately below the exclosure, one or two hundred metres or so before the circle at the end of Beechwood. I'll bring the Conservancy's loppers and hand pruners. Please bring your gloves, some water and suitable footwear.

This is very short notice, so I'll have a follow-up session in the same area the following Wednesday, May 30, also at 1:00 pm. If there are more than intermittent showers, we'll postpone. Either way, I'll send either a reminder or a postponement notice the same morning. Please let me know if you plan to attend either of these, so I know how many people to expect. And you're entirely welcome to attend both, of course!

Not having organized this activity before, I don't have a good grasp of what times of day, or days of the week, are best for you. So I welcome your feedback on these, and may change the time or date of the May 30 event accordingly.

Henderson Park has some severe infestations of broom, all blooming profusely right now. So the task of beating it back can seem overwhelming. However, it may help to keep in mind that this is one step in the Conservancy's long-term restoration plan for the park. And in the short term, we can take heart in returning one small area at a time, back to its former beauty.

Cheers

Malcolm
Mayne Island Conservancy Society
Email: mming987@gmail.com
Phone (office): 250-539-5168

These appeals led to much satisfactory work at the two sites that concern us this year. Photos below document the progress. There remains much to do in the Henderson Hill Community Park and anyone who can help should get in touch by phone or email, using any of the contact info appearing on this page.

Before & After at Bennett Bay

Photo of Bennett Bay's meadow - before
In full flower in the large meadow
Photo of Bennett Bay's meadow - after
And after the BAT Team went to work
Photo of the Bay  - before
View of the Bay, with flowers
Photo of the Bay - after
Gone before seeds dropped!

Recent Activity at Henderson Park

Photo of a cutter at work
Broom cutting in process in the park
Photo of the debris at Henderson
The cutpile grows on Beechwood Drive
Photo of deer-browse protection
Uncovered native growth is protected
Photo of a Garry Oak seedling
Garry Oak seedling replaces broom

Volunteers

Everyone is welcome to join the team - the group goes a-chopping once a week, except perhaps in high summer - and meets at a location and time specified in an e-mail circulated by the "Chairperson" of B.A.T. Tools of the trade include loppers for big stands and even reasonably sharp secateurs for close to the ground action, especially under sensitive soil conditions. If you do not have tools, come anyway and they will be provided.

For more information about the Team, or to get your name on the mailing list call us at 5168, or send an e-mail to stewardship@conservancyonmayne.com

Community Action

Once a year the Broom Action Team organises the Mayne Island Conservancy's Community Broom Bash wherein the 20 or so enthusists who turn out can destroy a huge amount of broom as a result of a Saturday Morning's work. The MICS Gallery page has some images of the latest Community effort.

Watch for details of Community Action event in the early Spring of 2012 here

More Pictures

Cut broom
Dead Broom is Good Broom
Cutting Broom
Lone Cutter at Work on Henderson
Just the edge of the canopy left
The Canopy Fringe is Good to Go!
Broom
Seed Pods in Two Weeks!
Hardware Store'Truck at Broom Bash
MIBC's Truck Getting Loaded

You can find many more photographs and illustrations of the B.A.T Project in action by visiting our Gallery pages.

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