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More than 100 military and civilian members of 19 Wing Comox cleared invasive Scotch broom Wednesday from a large section of road leading into the base.
Starting at the top of Ryan Road in Courtenay and armed with loppers and leather gloves, volunteer work crews spent much of the day clipping the stubborn weed and hauling it to the roadside for chipping.
The invasive plant is recognizable for its yellow flowers when in bloom, but its proliferation in the Comox Valley
is starting to interfere with the success of indigenous plant populations.
Broombusters, a Vancouver Island volunteer organization that helps control the spread of Scotch Broom, provided tools and instruction on how to properly remove the plants.
“As stewards of the environment, 19 Wing is happy to take part in this project that we hope will restore a bit of the natural ecosystem in our community,” said 19 Wing commander Col. Jim Benninger. “The turnout
was great, and although the work can be tough, our members enjoy the outdoors and exercise that this activity provides.”
The “broom bust” was organized by members of the 19 Wing Sustainable Communities committee.
Sustainable Communities is a program that has been running in the Canadian Armed Forces since 2006 with a mission of fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community
“In addition to helping the environment, this was an excellent chance to get together as a group and meet other members of the Wing,” said Carol Riddell, of Canadian Forces Housing Agency, and an organizer of the broom bust. “In addition to the broom bust, we organize a number of other community projects throughout the year from planting flowers to cleanup efforts around the base.”