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

  • 38 community members participated and contributed 118 hours total
  • 6 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 38 bathtubs!), with roots making up the majority of what was removed. These stubborn roots require more effort to remove and take up less volume, but significantly reduce the chances for regrowth! Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page.
  • 10 participants visited Terra Nova Rural Park for the first time
  • 18 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • 32 participants were Richmond residents

On Saturday April 23, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of Richmond joined forces to celebrate Earth Week by engaging community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal at Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond.

It was a beautiful sunny day for the 38 committed community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels who came out to rescue native vegetation and trees from aggressive, invasive Himalayan blackberry. Building on the work of the 41 community members who attended our first Earth Week activity on Sunday April 17, 2022, our focus was on removing the stubborn roots from the dense clay-like soil. This was not easy to do, but our community members got right to it and pulled out more roots than we knew existed! By removing these roots and not just cutting back branches, we are reducing the chances of this invasive plant to regrow significantly. Every root removed was a BIG win!

Knowing that it is bird nesting season and that a large number of diverse birds call Richmond home, we made sure to be careful and keep an eye out for any bird nests in the area. While some small birds can nest in large Himalayan blackberry thickets because of the thorny protection offered to keep predators away, encouraging the growth and establishment of diverse native species will not only improve the biodiversity of the plant community, but will benefit more birds too. No nests were found while we were working.

Since 2020 we have run a number of activities in partnership with the City of Richmond at this park to help with invasive blackberry management. Past activities took place on April 17, 2022, April 24, 2021, April 17, 2021 and November 7, 2020. Click the dates to view the blog summaries of each past activity! We look forward to continuing our work at this park again soon.

This activity was run in celebration of Earth Week! 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. We encourage everyone to spend some time considering 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!

There are many tangible ways that you can help reduce your impact, including:

  • Buy local! This applies to both food and items. Supporting local not only reduces the costs and emissions of transporting non-local goods, but also supports the local economy!
  • Reuse what you have or donate/gift/sell things you no longer use instead of throwing them out. There are many Buy Nothing Facebook Groups that support the gifting and receiving of used items, make sure to join the one for your community! Click here for the Buy Nothing Facebook Group for Richmond Central!
  • Avoid impulse buying and only buy what you need. This will produce less waste, consume less materials and save you money! When you are buying something, try to buy durable, sustainably made products over those that are cheaply made when possible. Better yet, try to get it second hand!
  • Choose active transportation (walk, bike), public transportation (bus, skytrain), or carpooling (catch a ride with someone) over driving alone.
  • Learn about environmental issues and what you can do about them. Joining our Green Team is a great place to start for this, as it’s hard to care about something if you don’t know about it!

This park wasn’t the only one to benefit from our efforts, as the community members themselves had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to be in nature together on a beautiful spring day. There are many benefits to being in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, physical exercise and fresh air, and mental clarity. Additionally, through this experience we are helping the community connect to and cultivate a deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities!

Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Crush and Brush Toothpaste Tablets from Nelson Naturals, Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated and West Coast Seeds!

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.

What Volunteers Said

“I enjoyed the sportsmanship everyone shared. My favourite part is looking at the before and after pictures thinking how amazing we all did, it truly surprises me.”

– Renee

“I enjoyed being able to work as a team with friends in order to accomplish something meaningful. I feel the impact of this program is to make people more aware of the danger of invasive species and to gather more people to help get rid of it.”

– Jessica

Thank You!

Thank you to all of the enthusiastic and hard-working community members who attended this activity: Adrian, Adrienne, Alexis, Angelina, Bea, Brandon, Bryant, Charley, Chloe, Dan, Daniel, Elvis, Felix, Harry, Helin, Jerry, Jessica, Jiwon, Joey, Josie, Kai, Kairos, Kathryn, Dan, Yue, Kevin, Leah, Linda, Livia, Ray, Renee, Sam, Sheryl, Suzie, Sylvie, Talia, Tanya and Tiann!

Thank you also to Alexis for helping set up tools and Suzie 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 were many wonderful opportunities to celebrate Earth Week provided by the City of Richmond, you can find them and learn about year-round opportunities HERE!

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

This dumpster includes the blackberry we removed on both Sunday April 17 and Saturday April 23 – incredible!

Leave a Reply

Share

Recent Events