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Let's Pull Together -- Scotch Broom Control

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One island and many hands to pull invasive weeds and protect our lands from Scotch broom sprawl.

Let’s Pull Together-Bainbridge Scotch Broom Control is an initiative of Sustainable Bainbridge serving to coordinate community efforts to rid our Island of invasive Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius. Scotch broom is an evergreen perennial shrub with stiff, bright green branches. It blooms from early April through June - yellow flowers similar to pea flowers in shape. Scotch broom takes advantage of sunshine and disturbed soil, even in nutrient-poor dry soils, to establish itself in roadsides, meadows and neglected, cleared areas. Scotch broom has become a huge problem in Kitsap County. It is seen all over Bainbridge Island, but we can stop the spread right now, and work to eradicate with persistent, patient efforts. Let’s Pull Together to clear Bainbridge Island of invasive Scotch broom!

 Scotch broom is distinct even without it's blossoms

Scotch broom without blossoms

WHY we should work together to control Scotch broom on Bainbridge Island:

  • Scotch broom is a Noxious Weed in Washington State, which means that this is a legally recognized invasive plant that threatens native plant and wildlife populations.
  • Scotch broom can develop impenetrable stands of shrubs. It can out-compete seedling trees, native vegetation and block wildlife corridors.
  • Scotch broom is a breathing hazard and a potential fire hazard. All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten.
  • Some scientists believe that the nitrogen fixing capacity of the plant leads to rain-flushed nitrogen into Puget Sound, impacting oxygen levels, salmon and other organisms.
  • The biggest problem: Each shrub can cast 10,000 seeds and every seed can remain viable in the soil for up to 80 years!

 The Let’s Pull Together action plan includes: 

  • The creation of a five year "Cooperative Weed Management Area” (CWMA) project for comprehensive eradication of Scotch broom.
  • Support for clearing, monitoring and maintenance on public land
  • Information and support for landowners
  • Community volunteer workparties
  • An Adopt-a Road- program for sustainable neighborhood efforts
  • An opportunity for non-profit groups to use Scotch broom eradication workparties as community service & fund-raising events.

The Bainbridge Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is a five year project of Let’s Pull Together, running from 2013 through the end of 2017. A Cooperative Weed Management Area is a local organization that brings together landowners and land managers to coordinate action and share expertise and resources to manage a common weed - in our case, Scotch broom. The Bainbridge CWMA covers a defined geographic area- the southeastern fifth of the island, as illustrated in the CWMA Management Plan. Represented in the local steering committee are the Kitsap County Noxious Weed Commission, the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District, the City of Bainbridge Island, Sustainable Bainbridge, The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, The Student Conservation Corps and the Bainbridge Weed Warriors. The CWMA partners have developed a comprehensive weed management plan for the area. The plan includes weed surveying and mapping components as well as plans for integrated weed management. Let’s Pull Together prioritizes Scotch broom eradication within the CWMA for effective focused progress. The Bainbridge CWMA will take advantage of the significant level of commitment and effort already present in the community to control invasive plants, focus these efforts to increase the chance of successful eradication within the area, and plan and record accomplishments so that we can learn from and improve upon successful strategies and work for island-wide protection from Scotch broom infestation. 

Ways you Can Help:

Join a workparty from the events page or Schedule a non-profit work party.

PLEASE, clear Scotch broom from your own property on Bainbridge Island- and maintain by monitoring and pulling at least twice a year. For what you need to know: print the Scotch broom info pamphlet or check the "How to clear” page on the drop down menu.

Need to borrow a weed wrench?

Want help developing a strategy to clear Scotch broom from your property?

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