poison ivy leaves

Poisonous Plants to Watch Out For in New Brunswick

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Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac grow in wooded or marshy areas throughout North America. They actually aren’t really poisonous—they produce a sticky oil called urushiol that causes an itchy, blistering rash after it touches your skin.

You may have heard the saying “leaves of three, let it be”—poison ivy has three shiny leaves, one in the middle and two on either side. Poison oak looks similar, but the leaves are grouped in threes, fives, or sevens, and are larger, more rounded, and have a hairy surface. Poison sumac grows as a shrub or tree, and its leaves grow in clusters of seven to thirteen leaves, with one by itself at the end.

You can avoid coming into accidental contact with posion ivy, oak, or sumac by wearing long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, and closed shoes. If you’ve gotten any of the plants’ oil on your skin, wash it right away with warm soapy water or use alcohol wipes to remove it.

You may see a red rash appear in 24-72 hours and last up to three weeks. Over-the-counter medicine can provide relief from itchiness, as can cool compresses and oatmeal baths. Luckily, the rash isn’t contageous! Seek medical attention if the rash is close to your eyes or is widespread over your body, and go to the emergency room if you experience nausea, fever, shortness of breath, extreme soreness at the rash site, or swollen lymph nodes.

Founding member George Derrah highlight

Member Highlight: George Derrah

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Meet George Derrah—the man, the myth, the legend. George is the only Founding Member of YSSR still active with our team, and was among the group of volunteers that formed YSSR in 1983.

“We didn’t have an office or a home base in the beginning… we would work off the hood of a police car in lots of cases. In the beginning we did many door-to-door donation campaigns to raise funding to get our first truck and trailer.

“Local Sheriff George Melvin and RCMP Officer Ray Gautier were so helpful in getting us organized and recognized by EMO. We would set a table up in different locations—the mall, home shows, etc.—we would give out information and inform people about our group.”

Now, 37 years later, YSSR has over 100 members following in George’s footsteps to serve our community.

Veuillez rencontrez George Derrah—l’homme, le mythe, la légende. George est le seul membre fondateur de YSSR toujours actif dans notre équipe et faisait partie du groupe de bénévoles qui a formé YSSR en 1983.

“Nous n’avions pas de bureau ou de base au début… nous travaillions dans le capot d’une voiture de police dans de nombreux cas. Au début, nous faisions beaucoup de cueillettes de dons de porte à porte pour amasser des fonds pour obtenir notre premier camion et remorque

“Le shérif local George Melvin et l’agent de la GRC Ray Gautier nous ont beaucoup aidés à nous organiser et à nous faire reconnaître par l’EMO. Nous dresserions une table à différents endroits—le centre commercial, les salons, etc—nous donnerions des informations et informerions les gens sur notre groupe.”

Maintenant, 37 ans plus tard, YSSR compte plus de 100 membres qui suivent les pas de George pour servir notre communauté.