Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is increasingly common within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties.
Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun.
While the Public Works and Environmental Services Department has been proactively mapping out and controlling wild parsnip growth on public property, By-law & Regulatory Services would like to remind residents that they are responsible for removing invasive weeds on their private properties.
In accordance with the Property Maintenance By-law, the owner or occupant of a residential property must clear the lands of heavy undergrowth, long grass and/or weeds so that it is consistent with the surrounding environment.
Section 3(4) of the By-law also requires yards be clean and free from objects or conditions that may create a health or accident hazard. If a property owner fails to comply with an order to remove wild parsnip, the City is able to contract out the work at the expense of the property owner.
In addition, the Ontario Weeds Act requires residents to destroy any noxious weeds, including wild parsnip growing on their properties.