Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization
Grade 10/11 students from Mr. Robert’s class at Earl Marriott Secondary (1st session)
Grade 7 students from Mrs. Ordeman’s class at H.T. Thrift Elementary (2nd session)
Grade 4/5 students from Ms. MacNamara’s class at H.T. Thrift Elementary (3rd session)

Highlights

  • 69 local students and 9 adults removed invasive plants and contributed 92.5 hours total
  • 24 participants visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
  • 45 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • Over 10.5 cubic metres of invasive plants was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 65 bathtubs!) including English Ivy, English Holly and English Laurel

Action Shots

Summary

On Wednesday October 27, 2021 the Lower Mainland Green Team partnered up with the City of White Rock to engage local youth in removing invasive plants from Ruth Johnson Park.

This was our 5th time at Ruth Johnson Park in 2021, with our other visits on March 3, April 22, June 9 and October 23, 2021. We have been working in this gorgeous park since 2013!

Local students grades 4-11 walked from their schools to Ruth Johnson Park to restore this urban forest and spend valuable time in nature on this beautiful autumn day. Wind blowing in from the ocean rustled the trees and falling leaves as students got to work to free trees and the forest floor from invasive English ivy. But English ivy wasn’t the only plant we removed as invasive English holly and English laurel trees were uprooted with our wondrous weed wrenches.

English ivy produces a thick ground cover that smothers other plants and can climb up and kill a tree within 10 years. English laurel and holly are evergreen trees that grow well in shady conditions and can displace native understory trees and vegetation. By removing these invasive plants we are creating room for other native plants grow, 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.

We were thrilled to find native Trailing blackberry already growing in patches where we previously removed blankets of ivy, proof that our efforts were working!

This ecosystem wasn’t the only one to benefit from our efforts, as the students themselves had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to be out in nature. There are many benefits to being out in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, physical exercise and fresh air, and mental clarity.

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 everyone who eagerly joined us for this awesome day: Adam, Damian, Hudson, Ava, Connor, Madeleine, Niamh, Ethan, Kayla, Anna Sophie, Devin, Sukhman, Ian, Talis, Vera, Diego, Jacob, Rebecca, Abigail, Alo, Tammy, Caiden, Oscar, Shiai, Niki, Lucas, Hullahra, Manas, Cienna, Elaine, Gina, John, Ethan, Arnav, Nathan, Riley, Sagnik, Queenie, Amy, Arthur, Jennifer, Jenny, Dreyson, Lucas, Peyton, Hannah, Beni, Ahmed, Limar, Gus, Hmood, Amy, Tiffany, Calvin, Erwin, Dulcie, Tony, Sawyer, Amy, Lachlann, Japreet, Olivia, Theo, Sadie, Eva, Aubrey, Samuel, Ariel, Alan, Lisa and Joanna!

Thank you to the teachers who organized and brought out their students this hands-on learning opportunity: Adam Roberts, Lisa Ordeman and Joanna MacNamara!

Many thanks to Egan Davis, Manager of Parks at the City of White Rock, for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity for local youth possible! We have built a wonderful relationship with the City over the past 8 years and look forward to continuing our work together.

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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