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Stay on the trails to avoid wild parsnip

July 7, 2015 -

The City of Kingston is advising trail-users to stay on trails and pathways to avoid coming into contact with wild parsnip.

Wild parsnip, a.k.a. poison parsnip, is a growing concern in Kingston and across Ontario. This invasive weed is often found in roadside ditches, uncultivated land – and along nature trails. Its sap contains chemicals that can irritate skin and eyes and cause severe burning and blistering on affected skin when it is exposed to the sun. The blisters, which can result in permanent scarring, may occur one to two days after contact with the plant.

The City has efforts in place to manage this weed on municipal property.  City crews regularly mow beside nature trails and roadsides and know to target wild parsnip.  Municipal parks and public areas are mowed weekly. Naturalized areas immediately adjacent to public areas are monitored for wild parsnip. Given the spread of this invasive species, it isn't possible to get rid of it entirely.

Trail-users – and their children and pets – should stay on the path and not wander onto naturalized areas. Learn what the plant looks like so you can avoid it.

Wild parsnip on your property is your responsibility. 

See this page for more information on wild parsnip and how to avoid it – and for details on how to deal with these plants on your property: www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/environment-sustainability/nature-forests-gardens/wild-parsnip