The Broom Bash was definitely a smash, with colossal piles of broom being cut, delivered, sorted, piled and chipped. Congratulations to all the many volunteers!
Invasive species are a major threat to native ecosystems. Like many island ecosystems around the world, habitats on Pender Island have been seriously degraded by introduced and invasive species, which push out native plants and animals and reduce biodiversity. For example, Scotch Broom has pushed out millions of native plants and animals all along the Pacific Coast from the Sierra Nevada to the Haida Gwaii.
The First Annual Ursula Poepel Broom Bash received a great deal of support from the Pender Islands Community. In fact, we were overwhelmed by the response and ended up scrambling to find more places to hold the broom until it could be chipped. Volunteers organized chippers and drop off sites, cut broom, drove around and picked it up for delivery to the drop-off sites, monitored the sites, sorted the broom to weed out roots and dirt that ended up in the broom to be chipped--which took many hours, but the dirt, roots and rocks would have damaged the chippers.
Thanks to all the organizations and individuals who helped give native habitats a chance to flourish by removing so much of this aggressive invasive species.