The broom is in bloom: must be Broom Buster Month

Broom-busting volunteers pose with their tools at NCLC’s Reed Ranch Habitat Reserve in Warrenton in 2017.

SURF PINES — Each May, staff and volunteers with North Coast Land Conservancy focus on removing invasive Scotch broom on NCLC properties: They call it Broom Buster Month.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, NCLC staff and volunteers will be busting broom at Surf Pines Prairie Habitat Reserve, which the conservancy had been managing for conservation for several years, which it acquired in 2018. It is located off U.S. Highway 101 just north of Gearhart.

Volunteers will also get a look at blooming early blue violets and other native prairie species as they work on eradicating the Scotch broom.

If you’re interested in helping, please contact NCLC Stewardship Director Melissa Reich at 503-738-9126 or melissar@nclctrust.org to let her know you’re coming and to get directions. Wear sturdy boots and gloves. Bring loppers if you have them; otherwise all equipment will be provided. Bring drinking water and lunch; there will be no toilets or potable water on site. Dogs are not allowed on NCLC properties.

Coastal property owners are encouraged to remove Scotch broom and other invasive plants from their own properties during Broom Buster Month as well; visit NCLCtrust.org/bust-broom-in-your-backyard for more information and tips.

Widely planted and admired in the early 20th century for its bright yellow blossoms, Scotch broom out-competes native plants and is turning our open coastal prairies into a monoculture of dense, weedy shrubs, destroying the habitat that many coastal animals need to survive.

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