Victoria, BC- The Capital Regional District (CRD) is recruiting volunteers for the 11th annual broom sweep at Mill Hill Regional Park on Saturday, September 29 and October 20, 2012. This successful, science-based project brings community members together with Regional Parks’ staff under the common goals of restoring a valuable remnant Garry oak ecosystem and recovering rare and endangered plants.
“The Mill Hill broom sweep is the CRD Regional Parks largest volunteer initiative, with an increasing number of individuals and groups joining up every fall,” said CRD Parks and Community Services General Manager Lloyd Rushton. “We are very appreciative of the dedicated work of these volunteers, many of whom have been involved for years. Some are cultivating a great deal of knowledge of invasive species management so it is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity, which greatly benefits the region.”
Last year staff and more than 140 volunteers, including park neighbours, church groups, schools, youth and non-profit organizations, removed five metric tonnes of invasive plants from the park. Over the last ten years, almost 63 tonnes of Scotch broom, daphne, gorse, sweetbrier and common hawthorn have been removed. The biomass is then sent to a commercial facility for processing as biofuel.
Mill Hill Regional Park has one of the highest concentrations of plants at risk in the province. Central to the project is scientific monitoring of rare plants and other vegetation. The project also addresses recreational impacts to the park.
“We are seeing positive results,” says Rushton. “Before the project started, seven rare plant species were known to occur at 32 sites in the park. Today, 14 rare species have been found at almost 200 sites. There is an increase in common camas and other native species of Garry oak ecosystems, as well as a pronounced increase in rare white-top aster.”
The project is undertaken by CRD Regional Parks with the financial support from the Government of Canada provided through the Federal Department of the Environment.
When: Saturday, September 29 and Saturday, October 20, 2012
Where: Mill Hill Regional Park, 490 Atkins Ave., Langford
Who: Reasonably fit individuals and groups are welcome
How: Volunteers may register online or by calling 250.360.3329.
For further information, please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks
Tel: 250.360.3332 | Cell: 250-889.8030