Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

Highlights

  • 54 Grade 7 students from the Langley Fine Arts School participated and contributed 135 hours total
  • Almost 11 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of almost 68 bathtubs!), including dozens of stubborn root crowns which require more effort to remove but take up less volume
  • 4 students visited the Fort-to-Fort Trail for the first time
  • 14 students removed invasive plant species for the first time

On Thursday October 7, 2021 the Lower Mainland Green Team joined forces with the Township of Langley to tackle invasive Himalayan blackberry at the Fort-to-Fort Trail.

54 students, 2 teachers and 4 parent volunteers walked from the Langley Fine Arts School to the Fort-to-Fort Trail to rescue trees being overtaken by blackberry and increase biodiversity in this natural area.

The sun shone down on the students as they cut back the thorny brambles and dug up root crowns of all sizes. Throughout the activity students commented on how different the area looked from when they started, and they weren’t the only ones who thought so. We received an enormous amount of support from members of the public walking by who were excited to see this type of initiative happening in their neighbourhood.

Himalayan blackberry can very quickly overtake ecosystems if left unchecked, so by removing this invasive plant the students are helping other native plants grow in the area, which increases biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Strengthening our ecosystems in ways like this will help the area better adapt to the effects of climate change.

By learning about environmental issues such as those caused by invasive species in a hands-on way, the students are better equipped to tackle such problems. Additionally, the students were able to experience the benefits of being out in nature including improved mental and physical health and reduced stress levels. By connecting people to nature, especially youth, we see benefits for human and environmental health as those with more experiences in nature are more likely to protect it.

This was not our first time or last time at the Fort-to-Fort Trail, read about our past activities on March 25, 2018 and April 29, 2018!

This activity followed the COVID-19 Safety Plan of our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and current province-wide restrictions with safety measures in place to ensure participants could connect with each other and nature safely.

Thank You!

Thank you to all of the hard-working and enthusiastic students who attended this activity: Janey, Jayda, Celeste, Ayden, Molly, Helena, Gina, Wesley, Stella, Odette, Maia, Jacob, Abbigail, Amelia, Melania, Nathan, Alicia, Jacob, Tia, Cash, Cole, Angel, Mathias, Truly, Lauren, Nikolas, Scarlet, Madeleine, Sophia, Julian, Jordan, Barney, Haunnah, River, Daniel, Ariel, Amara, Angelise, Sebastian, Georgia, Scott, Sean, Farrah, Carter, Nathan, Ashton, Sienna, Malcolm, Elli, Elysia, Payton, Preston, Sophia and Marley!

A big thank you also to Travis Vandenberg and Emilie Colbourne, the Grade 7 teachers at the Langley Fine Arts School, for coordinating everything on their end. Your leadership and enthusiasm made this day a huge success!

Many thanks to Tovery, Darren, Dwayne and Jesse at the Township of Langley for joining us at this activity and sharing your expertise. We loved your energy and leadership at this activity and it wouldn’t have been the same without you!

A HUGE thank you to Bob Scott and Eric Fong at the Township of Langley for partnering with us to make this activity possible. Thank you for investing in your community and environment by supporting our valuable work!

What Volunteers Said

This was executed really well – Mia

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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