Campbell River is nearly free of Scotch broom

Thanks to BroombustersCR public land in Campbell River is now almost “broom free.”

“Next season’s project will involve monitoring the areas we cleared to assure there are no further broom bushes sprouting,” said Morgan Ostler. “Although the Jubilee Parkway is just outside the boundaries of Campbell River it has such a visual impact on the entrance to the city that we took on the challenge of removing the broom. It has been a much tougher job than we anticipated and if it wasn’t for the support of the Rotary Club we might not have achieved very much.

“In future it may require industrial equipment to remove the balance of the broom which is growing on steep slopes. The trunks of the bushes are like small trees.”

The Broombusters have been at it since 2013. They were inspired by the achievements of Broombusters.org which was dedicated to removing all the broom within the boundaries of Qualicum.

Campbell River Indian Band land and private property holders within the municipality are responsible for the clearing of broom on their own lands.

Ostler says they have verbal agreements from two major land holders to clear their lands beginning this week.

Ostler outlined some of Campbell River’s broombusting accomplishments dating from 2013-2016:

Willow St. & Island Highway intersection inc. section  to  Campbellton School – This was a huge effort to clear both broom and Himalayan blackberry.

Willow St. between 14th and 15th Street and east to Peterson Road – Some of this area had been previously landscaped so removing the broom has allowed the shrubs and small trees to gradually recover.

Business owners along 14th have begun to groom their property frontage and upgrade the appearance of the industrial buildings.

The large median on the Inland Island Highway at 14th St. – This neglected area had been landscaped some years ago and included a spring-fed pond. With the aid of Campbellton Neighbourhood Association members, it is now successfully cleared of invasive plants.

South Dogwood between Hilchey Road and Jubilee Parkway – This was a daunting task as there was more than a mile of thick broom on both sides of the roadway. It took two seasons to complete the job.

The SeaWalk from 1st Ave to Ocean Grove – Credit must be given to all the home owners and strollers along the Seawalk who voluntarily removed almost all the broom. The entire walk way is essentially clear of invasive plants and blackberries.

Jubilee Parkway between the Old Highway and the Inland Island Highway – Without the support of the Rotary Club for the past three seasons, the Broombusters on their own would not have been able to tackle this enormous task.

City workers used heavy equipment to haul the broom to the composting centre and we were grateful for their assistance.

Industrial Land Owners  remove broom from large tracts of land – Raven Industries owners have now removed all broom from the 20 acres of land adjacent to the Baikie Island estuary.

Campbell River Indian Band management has removed some broom from the highway near their plaza development and are now in the process of clearing out more plants between Home Depot and Spit Road.