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You can help cut out invasive plants at these Coquitlam parks and trails

Coquitlam's BroomBusters are set to tackle a rapidly-spreading species at local popular outdoor areas over the next five weeks.
Broom Crunch May 7 2022
The Coquitlam chapter of Broombusters has scheduled a series of invasive plant and broom removals at three locations over the next five weeks.

Scotch broom is an invasive plant species that can produce 18,000 seeds and stay in the soil for up to 40 years.

The colourful yellow shrub is known to call Coquitlam home and a local non-profit organization is asking for the public to help remove the plant from several popular parks and trails as spring begins to fully bloom.

BroomBusters is calling on volunteers to help out during scheduled dates over the next five weeks, starting tomorrow (April 22) in recognition of Earth Day 2023.

Known locations of scotch broom include the Coquitlam Crunch, Mundy Park and several areas of the City Centre neighbourhood.

According to Broombusters’ website, the invasive plant not only spreads rapidly and densely in open, sunny areas, it's also highly flammable, crowds out native plants, takes over farms and is toxic to wildlife.

Robbin Whachell applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant last year for funding to start BroomBjusters' first Lower Mainland chapter, and purchase tools and supplies to cut the broom stems at their base.

Whachell first learned about broom while hiking the Coquitlam Crunch during the heat dome in August 2021, when she heard a popping sound from exploding broom pods.

"I was seeing more of this plant everywhere I went," she said in an earlier interview with the Tri-City News.

Once the chapter was created, nearly 30 volunteers signed up, working almost 190 hours to remove and cut scotch broom shrubs around the city.

The group has also received support from the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society, with which Whachell is widely known for her volunteerism.

BroomBusters has set up the following schedule for its next cut and removal strategy:

Interested volunteers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing and a sun-hat - removal is set to take place rain or shine.

As well, BroomBusters asks participants to bring gardening and/or work gloves, and their own bottle of water.

To volunteer, visit the Coquitlam chapter's Facebook event page to register.

For more information, you can visit the organization's website.