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Ragweed control: A daunting challenge

Ragweed is the leading cause of seasonal allergies across the Northeastern Seaboard, with about 75 per cent of seasonal allergy symptoms attributable to ragweed. What’s more, just one ragweed plant can produce up to 3,000 seeds, which in turn can survive for up to 40 years.

Elected officials in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce are extremely concerned with the spread of ragweed across the borough. The presence of pollen poses a public health threat – one in ten people is affected by seasonal allergic rhinitis – and this alarming statistic demands that we take action.

In the summer of 2018, the Société environnementale de Côte-des-Neiges (SOCENV), the local organization that coordinates our Éco-quartier program, including its ragweed control component, helped uproot some 485,507 ragweed plants, which were then transformed into compost. 

$200,000: a welcome financial assistance package

The borough this year is investing $100,000 to help implement an ambitious ragweed control program. A grant for that amount has been awarded, with funding from the Green Fund created under the Government of Québec’s 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan. To build on the project implemented in 2018, the Borough mandated SOCENV to develop and deploy a ragweed control plan across CDN-NDG.

Ragweed Squad

Our Ragweed Squad, led by SOCENV, will be given a mission to visit EVERY street in the borough at three specific times this summer to pull up ragweed plants on public property—and even on private property. Don’t be surprised if you see squad members removing plants in front of your home or business to make the most of this control effort—and feel free to ask them questions if you do!

If you spot ragweed plants in front of your home, please report it by writing to herbeapoux@socenv.ca. Every plant pulled up by the squad will be counted.

A borough-wide appeal to institutions

Several institutional partners have already confirmed their participation in the ragweed control program. Mobilizing the broader community to act in tandem will be crucial to the program’s success.

Institutional partners

CHU Sainte-Justine

Collège Notre-Dame

Hellenic Community of Greater Montréal

HEC Montréal

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal

Expérience Côte-des-Neiges

Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Ouest-de-l'île-de-Montréal

Private, commercial or institutional property managers interested in contributing to our ragweed control program are asked to contact the SOCENV team at 514-738-7848.

Ragweed eradication drive

Uprooting ragweed before it flowers in THE ideal means to control its spread. The plant must not be allowed to flower. Cutting the plants can help, but uprooting them is preferable.

Check our Facebook page (Facebook.com/CDN.NDG) or subscribe to La Citoyenne, our newsletter (ville.montreal.qc.ca/cdn-ndg/infolettre) to find out the dates and locations of local ragweed eradication drives.

Cleap-up 1 - Saturday, July 13, 2019 (click for details, in French only)

How to recognize ragweed

Ragweed varies in appearance and height, depending on the growth stage, but it can reach a height of one metre.

It is characterized by dentate leaves similar to those of carrots.

Be careful not to mistake ragweed for poison-ivy. The two plants are quite different in appearance and do not have the same health impacts.

If you spot ragweed behind your home, uproot and dispose of all the plants. Do not put them the compost to avoid contamination with ragweed seeds.