Update on pollinator pilot and wild parsnip spraying

by Mayor Christa Lowry

Pollinator Pilot: the Municipality of Mississippi Mills, Indian Creek Orchard Gardens and YOU

The Municipality of Mississippi Mills had a great opportunity to acquire wildflower seed through Lanark County and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. The seed mix is native to Eastern Ontario and we have enough to seed approximately 1 km of roadside. The goal is to restore roadside biodiversity as well as valuable pollinator habitat. It also provides an opportunity for us to measure how effective revegetation with native species is at controlling the spread of less desirable species, like wild parsnip.

Bee seeking pollen at Gemmill Park (Millstone photo)

Scott Sigurdson, an organic farmer from Indian Creek Orchard Garden, has agreed to manage this Pollinator Pilot as part of the Municipality’s 2019 Wild Parsnip Management Program. With volunteer support, Scott has adopted a 2km section of Sugar Bush Road in Cedar Hill and will be running trials on a variety of restoration methods. At the end of the pilot, the plots will be assessed to evaluate how effective the various pollinator habitat restoration methods were at controlling the encroachment of wild parsnip.

To make this a success, we need your help! Please come to Indian Creek Orchard Gardens, 919 Sugar Bush Road, Pakenham this Saturday, May 19 from 9 am-3 pm with a rake or shovel, your community spirit and enthusiasm!  We also need about 84 stakes to mark the various plots. Can you help?

For more information, please see the Facebook event “Pollinator Plant Pilot Project” hosted by Indian Creek Orchard Gardens.

On that note, I also want to remind you that there are two options if you want to avoid spraying for wild parsnip in front of your property on Mississippi Mills roads:

1)    No Spray Agreement

An agreement between the Municipality of Mississippi Mills and a landowner (occupant) who takes alternative vegetation control actions to control noxious weeds within the road allowance adjacent to their lands, and therefore, the Municipality does not spray the zone.  Note that a no-spray agreement form for each property must be completed.  No spray requests are not guaranteed until the review process is completed and approval granted by the Director of Roads and Public Works.

2)    Adopt a Road Program

A program where groups (minimum 3 individuals) can enter into an agreement with the Municipality of Mississippi Mills to complete various vegetation management activities. Once the Municipality has received your completed Adopt-A-Road agreement, Public Works staff will finalize your Adopt-A-Road Agreement outlining the approved road section, and approved activities.  No activities are to occur until an adoption agreement is approved in writing.

IMPORTANT: The deadline for both program requests is Friday, May 17. More information here.

No Spray Agreement forms and the Adopt a Road Agreement forms are both available by following the link and once completed should be submitted to:

The Corporation of the Municipality of Mississippi Mills
Attn: Environmental Compliance Coordinator

In person: 3131 Old Perth Road, Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0

Or via e-mail: tpetrie@mississippimills.ca