Wild Parsnip: is this the one we are all supposed to be freaking out about?

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par: 

Kate Aley

In short, no.

The massive invasive toxic weed we are supposed to fear and loathe is Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).Originally from eastern Europe and imported as a decorative garden accent, if you can believe it, Giant Hogweed grows to about five meters tall and is filled with noxious sap that burns skin deeply.

However, Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) (the yellow-flowered one here, seen with white-flowered Queen Anne's Lace and other stuff) is no mild-mannered maiden either. Contact with the sap also causes severe skin irritation, especially if you are mowing the stuff while wearing shorts.

This is how the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit describes it:

"Wild Parsnip plants have chemicals called psoralens (more precisely, furocoumarins) that cause phyto-photodermatitis: an interaction between plants (phyto) and light (photo) that induce skin (derm) inflammation (itis).  Once the furocoumarins are absorbed by the skin, they are energized by UV light on both sunny and cloudy days. They then bind to DNA and cell membranes, destroying cells and skin. Wild Parsnip burns usually occur in streaks and elongated spots, reflecting where a damaged leaf or stem moved across the skin before exposure to sunlight. If the sap gets into the eyes, it may cause temporary or permanent blindness."

So that is bad, right?

Wild Parsnip, also invasive, also from Europe, is again bountiful in ditches and along roadsides this year. You can get rid of it but it's a complicated process. Putting on three pairs of leather trousers is the first step, I think.

The jury still seems to be out on whether Giant Hogweed has ever been officially identified in this area. I did see a very tall nasty-looking plant on the side of the 148 in Clarendon last year. I can assure you every inch of it screamed: "DON'T TOUCH". If you have ever read John Wyndham's terrifying novel Day of the Triffids, you'll agree that this is probably what the triffids looked like.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

UPDATED: Quyon Community Centre

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●PUBLISHER'S NOTE: It was discovered after this update was published that the Municipality of Pontiac and the builder, Lalonde Cantin Construction (LCC), are locked in a dispute the full nature of which is unclear at this time. Despite multiple attempts to reach out to the Municipality, clarification of the causes of the dispute, as well as the dispute's influence on the completed project's delivery date or when the new community centre will open have not been forthcoming, and are therefore unknown. We continue to follow this story and we will bring you any updates as they become known.

Originally published on October 14th, 2018
under the headline
Work continues on Quyon Community Centre
by: Kate Aley

Everyone is watching the beautiful new Quyon Community Centre nearing completion with equal amounts of impatience and excitement. Final touch-ups on paint and drywall were being done as of last week, including finishing the stairs to the Mezzanine level.

Perfect waste management

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par: 

Sheila McCrindle

There is an old saying among environmentalist “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  This applies whenever solutions to environmental problems are being devised. Especially solutions involving human behaviour.  It means that just because a solution is not perfect does not mean it is not good.  Dealing with household organic waste is just such an example.

Free art classes: meet the teachers part 3

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par: 

Kate Aley


Get Art teacher Tanya McCormick, wearing some of her unique copper jewelry

Believe it or not, all of us have a naturally creative streak and these free art classes, hosted by the Municipality of Pontiac, are the perfect opportunity to dig into it. Next in our roster of Get Art teachers is Tanya McCormick who will be teaching on Saturday, October 27th at the Luskville Community Centre.

Free art classes: meet the teachers part 2

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par: 

Kate Aley

Get Art, the travelling art school based in the Pontiac, is fortunate to be able to offer all-ages classes again this year. Thanks to funding from the Municipality of Pontiac, the four classes across our three communities are absolutely free of charge for residents. 

Today we meet Luskville's Chantal Dahan who will be teaching printmaking in Breckenridge on Saturday, October 20th.

Free art classes for the municipality: meet the teachers

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par: 

Kate Aley


Thanks to the generosty of the Municipality of Pontiac, four art classes are being offered to our community, absolutely free of charge. Details of the classes can be found in your fall activities bulletin, delivered in your mail box last week. Pontiac2020.ca interviewed the four teachers to find out more about the classes and the artists.

A Tale of Two Approaches

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par: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady

See Also: When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

The MRC des Collines de Gatineau is comprised of 7 municipalities. The smallest Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette is small enough to be exempt from complying with the Provincial Residuals Strategy. The two most densely populated, Cantley and Chelsea, have respectively 83 and 60 people per square kilometre. These two municipalities also have the highest median household income by a considerable margin.

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