Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization
Group photo of the amazing community members who joined us for this activity!

Highlights

  • 41 community members participated and contributed 128 hours total
  • 8 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 50 bathtubs!), including many stubborn roots which require more effort to remove but take up less volume. By removing the roots, we significantly reduce the chances for the regrowth. Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
  • 20 participants visited Terra Nova Rural Park for the first time
  • 25 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • 33 participants were Richmond residents

On Sunday April 17, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of Richmond partnered up to celebrate Earth Week by engaging community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal at Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond.

It was a sunny Sunday for the 41 committed community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels who came out to rescue native vegetation and trees from the persistent and prickly Himalayan blackberry. An incredible amount of blackberry roots were removed from dense clay-like soil, reducing the chances of this invasive plant to regrow significantly. Every root removed was a BIG win!

This was not our first or last time at Terra Nova Rural Park, with past activities taking place on April 24, 2021, April 17, 2021 and November 7, 2020. Click the dates to view the blog summaries of each past activity! We will also be back at this park on Saturday April 23, 2022 to continue everyone’s hard work to free the area of blackberry. You can CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS NEXT ACTIVITY!

It is important to celebrate and show our love and appreciation for all that Mother Earth provides us. From the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food the eat, and the places we live and play in, Earth takes care of us. But we have a responsibility to reciprocate and take care of the Earth back, especially as the demand and impact of humans continues to put stresses on the environment. This Earth Week (April 17-23), and every day moving forward, consider the impacts that you may have on Earth from the things we do, places we go and things we buy. Becoming more aware of our impact is the first step and no action is too small to make a difference, especially when many people are doing them! Take some time this Earth Day (April 22) to learn more about how to make every day Earth Day!

We found many critters including snails, slugs, worms and ladybugs, and had a red-winged blackbird and Anna’s hummingbird visit and cheer on our community members!

Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Crush and Brush Toothpaste Tablets from Nelson Naturals

Additional gifts included Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated and West Coast Seeds!

By learning about environmental issues such as those caused by invasive species in a hands-on way, communities are better equipped to tackle such problems. Additionally, our community members 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, we help instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities!

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

Thank You!

Thank you to all of the enthusiastic and hard-working community members who attended this activity: Brandon, Jessica, Richard, Brian, Felix, Kirsten, Vania, Theresa, Alex, Grace, Vickie, Joey, Jiwon, Chloe, Suzie, Adrian, Ray, Aaron, Leanna, Angel, Xander, Adriana, Daniel, Jeffrey, Evelyn, Jerry, Grace, Kevin, Tin Yau (Tiann), Sylvie, Hoi Ning (Helin), Harry, Marc, Renee, Mridul, Shirley, Hazel, Catherine, Hazel, Linus and VJ!

Thank you also to Evelyn, Suzie and Richard for sticking around to help pack everything up, it was such a HUGE help!

A big thank you to Magnus Sinclair and Claudia Cravino at the City of Richmond for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this Earth Week activity possible. Thanks to the City’s direction and financial support, we are empowering communities to take care of each other and the environment – a win for all! There are many wonderful opportunities to celebrate Earth Week provided by the City of Richmond, so be sure to check them out HERE!

What Volunteers Said…

“It’s very evident how the invasive species overtake native species, so removing them and also educating ourselves about them really helps.

Aaron

“It was very enjoyable knowing that you are directly contributing to the betterment of the environment. I also got to spend some time outside the school collaborating with my friends. This program helps the native ecosystem by removing an invasive species that did not exist in North America before European settlers arrived. Like Ashton has said, it means that we are respecting the native lands also.”

Jerry

“I enjoyed the ability to work hard as a team to accomplish a good cause. This program helps raise awareness for invasive species and can show how hard (or easy) it is to remove them, giving people more reason to help volunteer.”

Jessica

“Cheerful, friendly leader. Very well organized event. Dedication and effort by volunteers was inspiring! Snacks and prizes at the end were appreciated. Thanks for the fun experience!

Leanna

“I liked how we were provided with knowledge and tools, also everyone was nice. I learned more about invasive species and what I can do to help our community ecosystem.”

Grace

I loved how we all worked together and it was great to learn something new while meeting new people. This program not only supports people in getting involved in the community, but it also gives youth like me chances to learn new things and gain volunteer experience and hours! This peeks into environmental work and activism plus entwined with community service and gardening which was super fun!! I would definitely attend any other events around this area.”

Theresa

“It was really fun since this was my first time doing this kind of volunteering! I hope to volunteer again at this kind of event! I think it’s beneficial to the environment; removing these weeds can be a start, if people all over the world contribute, we can get rid of it all!”

Vickie

“I enjoyed cutting the Himalayan Blackberry bushes!

Adrian

“I felt a strong sense of accomplishment after removing those blackberries.This program not only brings more people to nature, but also teaches them how everyone can help to improve the environment.

Tin Yau

“I learned what is the harm of blackberry and how to remove blackberry. I feel this program makes people aware of nature.”

Hoi Nong

“I enjoyed pulling out a giant blackberry bush root and looking at the bugs and wildlife as we were removing the invasive species. This program helps promote biodiversity and rewild the area with native plants. I’ve only been to 2 meetups so far but they’ve been the highlight of my weeks! The fresh air and being surrounded by nature makes me feel less stressed out. Knowing that I’m using my time to help the environment gives me a sense of fulfillment!”

Kirsten

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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