Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

West Beach, White Rock – May 14, 2022

Group photo of the incredible community members who joined us for this activity!

Highlights

  • 29 community members participated and contributed 88 hours total
  • 6 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 38 bathtubs), including many stubborn, massive roots. Blackberry roots require lots of effort to remove and don’t take up much volume, but removing the roots significantly reduces the chances of plant regrowth. Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
  • 14 participants visited West Beach for the first time
  • 10 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • We were featured in the Peace Arch News TWICE for this activity! CLICK HERE to read the first article (May 12) and CLICK HERE read the second article (May 16)!

On Saturday May 14, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of White Rock joined forces to engage community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal at beautiful West Beach in White Rock.

Despite a rainy morning, 29 committed community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us at this activity and made it a truly fantastic day. They were rewarded with beach views, hot chocolate, snacks, new friends, and the satisfaction that they made a huge difference on this dune ecosystem!

With a focus on removing massive blackberry roots that have evidently been growing for years, everyone quickly learned how to effectively remove the stubborn roots using teamwork, gloves, shovels and loppers. It is critical that we remove the roots of the Himalayan blackberry to make a long-term impact, as just trimming the branches is not enough to keep this plant from overtaking natural areas.

This was our fourth visit to West Beach and we have seen a noticeable reduction in the amount of invasive blackberry in the area since our Green Team first started working on it in May 2021. Notably, some areas of the dunes had no regrowth of blackberry at all, proving that our hard work digging up blackberry roots is worth it! As with the restoration of any site, West Beach is an ongoing effort that we will continue to visit, but a worthwhile one at that! Read the summaries of each past activity by clicking the following dates: October 9, 2021, September 18, 2021 and May 29, 2021. We look forward to continuing our work at the beach soon!

This natural area wasn’t the only one to benefit from our efforts, as the community members themselves had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to work together in this beautiful outdoor setting. There are many benefits to being in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, physical exercise and fresh air, improved memory, focus 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, Swedish Dish Cloths from Swedethings, Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate from Camino, and West Coast Seeds! If you have any suggestions for sustainable/eco-friendly rewards, know of or own a business who would like to provide in-kind to our Green Team, please contact Ashton Kerr, Program Manager, at !

The Lower Mainland Green Team is a program of the charity Green Teams of Canada. Our mission is to connect, build and empower diverse communities through hands-on activities that promote health, well-being and environmental stewardship. Our vision is healthy communities engaged in environmental stewardship. Thanks to our partners, community members and supporters like you, we are able to fulfill our mission! Learn more about our organization and how to support our work at www.greenteamscanada.ca.

What Volunteers Said

“I felt proud of being outdoors and having fun with my friends while helping the community and the environment. I think this program has a beneficial impact toward the environment. As well, it gets people active, outdoors, and allows them to feel proud of accomplishing a task.”

– Ilya

“Nice working with Ashton again today. Although it was a bit rainy, we removed significant amount of the invasive blackberry. The impact of this program is more people will know the influences of different plant species to the ecosystem.”

– Harry

“I enjoyed taking out the plants. It was satisfying. I feel the impacts of this program are community service and environment help. I had lots of fun today. Thank you Ashton”

– Cyrhinne

“I enjoyed interacting and socializing with people. Being part of a team gave me a sense of purpose as well as a goal. I feel the impact of this program is to help contain invasive species that have covered areas; that otherwise could be used for other purposes to help the economy and society.”

– Haris

Watch the following video of Chelsea, 3 time Lower Mainland Green Team volunteer and White Rock resident, sharing her favourite parts about volunteering with our Green Team!

Thank You!

Thank you to all of the amazing, hard-working community members who attended this activity: Abdurrahman, Adrienne, Alexis, Angelina, Brian, Chelsea, Chloe, Cyrhinne, Doreen, Doug, Haris, Harry, Hazel, Helin, Ian, Ilya, Jeff, Jennifer, Josie, Kirby, Kirk, Linda, Renee, Richard, Slava, Roy, Sylvie, Tiann and Vicki!

Thank you to everyone who helped bring tools and supplies over to the boat launch after the activity so they could be easily loaded up, this was such a HUGE help!

Thank you Jennifer for helping with set up and stepping into her staff role at the City of White Rock to take away all of the blackberry brambles and roots we removed!

A big thank you to Jim Gordon and Spencer Booth at the City of White Rock for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this day of restoration and community building at the beach 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! We have built a wonderful relationship with the City over the past 9 years and look forward to continuing our work together.

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

In addition to the piles you see on the ground, the truck bed was full!

Leave a Reply

Share

Recent Events