Broom bash at the lagoon

The Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative is conducting a early blitz on Scotch broom in the lagoon area and is seeking volunteers.

Volunteers removed bundles of broom last fall, but the invasive plant has gained a foothold amid native dune vegetation along the Coburg peninsula. ELSI co-ordinator Kitty Lloyd said volunteers are planning a triple “broom bash” in throughout the late winter and early spring.

“Quite a bit of broom has moved in. Not a huge amount, but if you turn your back it’ll take over,” Lloyd said, adding they’re keeping an eye out for other invasive plants, such as blackberry.

Over 2007 and 2008, ELSI and Colwood re-arranged logs along the Coburg peninsula to give dune areas room to breathe and recover. Native dune vegetation anchors soil and provides wildlife habitat. The project also moved vehicle parking away from dune areas and delineated pathways to the beach.

“There’s not as many people climbing over logs and through the dune vegetation,” LLoyd said. “The vegetation keeps the dynamic soil in place and is important to keeping hold of the barrier spit.”

Esquimalt Lagoon broom bashes are scheduled for Feb. 12, March 12 and April 9, from 10 a.m. until noon.

To volunteer, meet at the accessible arts space on Ocean Boulevard, north of the washrooms.

Volunteers should bring gloves and clippers if they have them. For more see www.elsi.ca or e-mail klloyd@crd.bc.ca.

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