based on notes by Scott Sigurdson
In May 2019, Scott Sigurdson and his neighbours on Sugar Bush Road near Pakenham, Ontario, set out to restore pollinator habit along 2 km of this country road – from the Boal Bridge (where Sugar Bush Road becomes Belamy Road) east for 2 km along Sugar Bush Road.
A donation of 16 truckloads of compost and a grader loaned to the group by the municipality got the project off to a good start.
They seeded the compost with a legume mix – clover, alfalfa, and vetch. In July, they added wildflower seeds:
New Jersey Tea
Canada Wild Rye
Slender Wheat Grass
Virginia Wild Rye
New England Aster
Black-eyed SusanIn the legume plots, the mix contained
Wild Parsnip is a problem in this area, and the volunteers did not want their new project sprayed with herbicides. That meant pulling the parsnip plants out by hand.
In summer 202o, Wild Parsnip returned, but less than in the previous year. Again, volunteers pulled the plants out by hand. Scott writes: “It took the 10 of us a little over 2 hours to remove all the parsnip. Just look at the trail of parsnip carnage we left in our wake. It will be a brave parsnip who sticks its bud out around here next year. Just 2 hours! What are you waiting for? Adopt your road and build community around it.
In 2022, the annual Wild Parsnip battle was down to only 2 hours, and in 2023, only 1.5 hours. Rain made work easier in 2023.
For more information and photos, see the project’s Facebook page.