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Ruth Johnson Park, White Rock – June 21, 2022

Group photo of Ms. Andre’s grade 6/7 class and Mr. Randhawa’s grade 7 class from Bayridge Elementary who joined us for the first session of this activity!
Group photo of Mrs. Jensen’s grade 5/6 class from Bayridge Elementary who joined us for the second session of this activity!

Highlights

  • 62 grades 5-7 students from Bayridge Elementary School participated and contributed 111 hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Henry, Aanya, Liv, Mathew, Ryan, Olivia, Priya, Gauresh, Mabel, Tim, Celeste, Bruce, Jessica, Lucas, Jullienne, Arnav, Daiya, Anthony, Alveera, Aurora, Ajjay, Aayan, Claire, Carina, Ethan, Eleanor, Gia, Jesse, Jaida, Mason, Marcus, Neil, Paramraj, Priya, Reaky, Richard G., Richard Z., Rafeal, Sophie, Sophia K., Sophia X., Sauvin, Tifany, Zeenat, Arie, Ava, YQ, Yurui, Stella, George, Gisela, Milaan, Grace L, Grace J, Felix, Puneet, Carrie, Daisy, Emma, Lucas, Azeez, Kevyn and Siyona!
  • 5 cubic metres of invasive Smallflower Touch-Me-Not and English ivy was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 31 bathtubs). Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
  • An area of 1,800 metres squared had Smallflower Touch-Me-Not removed from it and was revitalized
  • 45 youth visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
  • 22 youth removed invasive plants for the first time
  • Henry, a grade 11 student from Semiahmoo Secondary School, joined us to learn more about what we do!
  • Everyone’s hard work was featured in the Peace Arch News! Read the article HERE!
  • This was not the first time our Green Team visited Ruth Johnson Park this year, with a past activity occurring on April 22, 2022. Read a summary of this Earth day activity engaging local youth HERE!

On Tuesday June 21, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of White Rock partnered up to engage local youth in an invasive plant removal at Ruth Johnson Park.

62 grades 5-7 students from Bayridge Elementary School walked from their school to Ruth Johnson Park to steward this natural area. They focussed on removing a small invasive plant called Smallflower Touch-me-not, a super easy and satisfying plant to remove that surfaces around this time of year and had taken over Ruth Johnson Park. Hundred of this small flowering plant were pulled from the park and everyone had a lot of fun while doing so!

In addition to improving biodiversity and habitat health in Ruth Johnson Park, the youth were able to get exercise outdoors, try something new, work together as a team, and connect deeper to nature. By providing experiences for the youth to be in nature safely together, we are helping cultivate a curiosity and deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities! Additionally, they were able to experience the mental and physical health benefits of being out in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and improved mood, memory and focus. Many of the youth visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time at this activity despite it being walking distance from their school and expressed their eagerness to return to this beautiful park to explore it more.

This activity occurred on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Indigenous peoples have been stewarding the lands we reside on since time immemorial and because they have been taking care of the land, the land has taken care of them back. We all have a responsibility to take care of the environment, especially in times of environmental degradation and climate change, as it provides us with so much – our food, water, clean air, a place to live and play… literally everything! The youth we engaged in this activity learned all this and how they can better take care of nature.

We are extremely grateful to be able to run our program on the lands of Indigenous peoples across the Lower Mainland, including those of the Semiahmoo First Nation. There are many things that we all can do to contribute to reconciliation, and removing invasive plants so that native plants can thrive is one way we can do so.

Max supervised and provided morale support to the students in Mrs. Jensen’s class!

On April 22, 2021 our Green Team engaged local youth in an invasive English ivy removal. We were extremely thrilled to see how much native Trailing blackberry has grown since the ivy was removed! This is evidence of how impactful our work is on the local ecosystem in addition to those we engage.

To see what this area looked like before, check out the last set of before and after photos on our April 22, 2021 activity blog HERE!

A closeup look of what Smallflower Touch-Me-Not looks like! Despite its name, this plant is not poisonous and can even be removed without gloves (though we wore gloves and recommend doing so)!

Thank You!

Thank you to the Bayridge Elementary School teachers Cathy Andre, Ajit Randhawa and Melissa Jensen for your work to bring your students out to this activity!

Thank you to Justin Schneider, Spencer Booth and Jim Gordon at the City of White Rock for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity possible!

Our organization has been working with the City of White Rock since 2013. Thanks to the direction and financial support from the City our Green Team has engaged 700+ local youth and community members across 25+ White Rock activities aimed to improve environmental health and empower people to care for nature and their community.

We look forward to returning to White Rock this summer and fall!

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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