Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

Highlights

  • 33 community members of all ages participated and contributed 108.5 hours total
  • 29 participants visited Hoy Creek for the first time
  • 23 participants removed invasive plant species for the first time
  • Almost 10 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry and English ivy was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 62 bathtubs!)
  • 2 salmon were seen spawning up Hoy Creek!
  • We were featured in the Tri-City News for this activity! Read the article HERE.
  • We found a variety of things mixed in with blackberry brambles, including bottles, cans, and a DVD of National Lampoon’s Senior Trip!
  • Yummy refreshments was had by all and set up beautifully thanks to Swetha!
  • Everyone took home a thank you gift donated by a local sustainable business, including Toothpaste Tablets from Nelson Naturals!

Action Shots

Summary

On Sunday October 24, 2021 the Lower Mainland Green Team teamed up with the City of Coquitlam to remove invasive Himalayan blackberry from Hoy Creek near Creekside village and prepare the site to be planted with native shrubs and trees.

Ready for rain and mud, participants came suited up with rubber boots, rain jackets and a positive attitude as we set out to build on restoration efforts made by the City of Coquitlam at this site. Despite the off and on rain, we accomplished an astonishing amount as seen by the before and after photos. Who knew what what we would free up from those massive thickets of blackberry!

The east side of the site was already restored and replanted by the City but had persistent blackberry in some patches. Those who worked in this area became experts at identifying the difference between native Salmonberry and invasive Himalayan blackberry, which can look very similar to an untrained eye. By removing the blackberry in this area while it’s still young, we reduce the chances of it coming back and give the newly planted native species a chance to thrive.

This activity not only had a positive impact on the environment, but on the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
  • Have improved mental and physical health
  • Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
  • Learn the value of bring together people to work towards a common goal
  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance

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 community members who attended this activity: Yali, Brian, Swetha, Naoya, Stephen, Elena, Emma, Peter, Eric, Aakash, Angela, Doug, Vesna, Ethan, Emilyn, Lauren, Katie, Nadine, Melanie, Olga, Diya, Cedrik, William, Serrat, Jason, Omoteniola, Rebecca, Qiang, Evelyn, Kaiwen, Alan, Elaine and Leo!

An extra big thank you to Brian who came early to help set up, and Brian, Swetha and Evelyn who stuck around after the activity to take down our tent, sanitize tools and pack up the vehicle. We really appreciate your help!

Many thanks to Monica and Marianne at the City of Coquitlam, for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity possible. Thank you for investing in your community and environment by supporting our valuable work!

What Volunteers Said

“At no point in the whole volunteering process, from signing up in Meetup till the closure, did I feel like a novice volunteer that didn’t know what to do next. Ashton was there at every step of the way, giving sufficient information and guidance, ensuring that the whole process was enjoyable. A program like this revalidates how little is required from individuals to contribute to the environment. It definitely encourages me to go out and do a little every week to help my neighbourhood” – Swetha

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“It feels good to be part of an activity that is improving where we live and recreate. It is fantastic to be able to leverage the help of volunteers in our community. Graduating students need volunteer hours for grade 12 curriculum and for university/college applications. It is a great opportunity – a win/win situation.” – Melanie

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“We were given proper equipment and we had reasonable break time. I love that you gave out gift at the end of the event. The biggest impact would be how we get to restore the local ecosystem ourselves.” – Rebecca

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“I enjoyed that I got to remove those bad influenced plants to help our native plants grow!” – Qiang

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“I enjoyed taking out the invasive plants, and I enjoyed meeting new people who have the same interests and hobbies as me. I think theres a big impact, and it makes the community aware of how we need to take care of our environment, and ways we can help.” – Diya

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“The impact of this program is to restore a natural site to its original state in order to reduce the impact which invasive plants have on the environment on that natural site, as well as restore the natural site to its original state out of respect for the First Nations people who had originally called that land their own.” – Aakash

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“I enjoyed not only taking part in such an amazing volunteer opportunity, but having the chance to meet new people in the community.The impact of this program is to get the community involved while tacking environmental issues that need cooperation and teamwork to get done.” – Emma

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“I enjoyed the aspect of getting lots of work done and helping the environment.” – Lauren

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“Nature is important to me so it was good to try and repair the area.” – Steve

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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