Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

Ruth Johnson Park, White Rock – July 17, 2022

Group photo of the 23 amazing community members who joined us for this activity!

Highlights

  • 23 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels participated and contributed 67.5 hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Jennifer, Doreen, Haruka, Sue, Minjie, Brian, Kevin, Kirk, Megan, Jeff, Amos, Kerry, Dawsyn, Carol Jiang, Julia, Stephen, Garrett, Simar, Hannah, David, Julia, Sahil and Jodha!
  • 11 cubic metres of invasive Smallflower Touch-Me-Not, English ivy, English (Cherry) laurel and English holly was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 69 bathtubs). Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
  • An area of 2,500 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized
  • 18 people visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
  • 12 people removed invasive plants for the first time
  • This was not the first time our Green Team visited Ruth Johnson Park this year, with a pasts activities occurring on April 22, 2022 and June 21, 2022. Work was also completed at this location by the wider community on October 23, 2021! Click the dates to read summaries and see photos from these activities!

On Sunday July 17, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the City of White Rock partnered up to engage the community in an invasive plant removal at Ruth Johnson Park in White Rock.

23 diverse community members joined us for a day of community building and habitat restoration at beautiful Ruth Johnson Park on this cooler, overcast summer day. The native plants and trees of this park can now breathe and grow a lot easier without being strangled by English ivy, surrounded by Smallflower touch-me-not, or shaded out by English holly and laurel trees thanks to the incredible work done by everyone! It was clear that we can accomplish lots when we come together to work towards a common goal, and it’s also much more fun when we do!

In addition to the positive environmental impact of this activity, new friends were made, existing relationships were deepened, and a connection to community and nature was fostered. By providing experiences for the community to spend time in nature together, we are helping cultivate a deeper understanding and respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities! Additionally, everyone was 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. If you ever need a break, there’s no better place to take one than in nature!

12 community members tried something new and removed invasive plants for the very first time! We love introducing people to the world of stewardship through welcoming and inclusive activities with diverse people, and hope they feel inspired to join us again and do more in their community!

Fresh watermelon and homemade vegan brownies were enjoyed by everyone!

We have been focussing on this site in Ruth Johnson Park since March 2021. Since then, we have seen the return of native species such as the Trailing blackberry pictured here in areas that were previously covered with English ivy. 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!

Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Replaceable Head Bamboo Toothbrushes from life UNpacked, Laundry Detergent Strips from Tru Earth, Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated, Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate from Camino, Tealight Candles from Honey Candles, 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 !

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.

What Volunteers Said

“I enjoyed the kindness and knowledge from the instructors”

– David

“I enjoyed that it was a kid-friendly opportunity I could share with my daughter! We both left with a sense of accomplishment and caring for our community and environment. Well-done, Lower Mainland Green Team!

I feel the impact of this program is huge! I think it’s a wonderful way to connect people from all walks of life in their communities too, and I hope more people hear about it and take part.”

– Megan

“It was a great opportunity to get closer to nature and did something great to our environment. Times flied when we worked and chatted. Also thank you Ashton for the yummy homemade vegan brownies.

I felt happier and more energetic after. It is not only pulling the weeds, also getting connected with others, meeting new people and feel great of the result of teamwork. The trees, the flowers, the trails will look better without those invasive plants for everyone to enjoy our beautiful BC park.”

– Carol Jiong

“I enjoyed getting out and doing an activity I wouldn’t normally think about doing. Learning that some species I once thought were native are actually invasive and generally being a lumberjack.

– Garrett

“I enjoyed the satisfaction that I was doing something productive in the community. I feel the impacts of this program are environmental stewardship, community pride, inclusivity, awareness.

Absolutely phenomenal program and leadership. Activity is well suited for many age groups and skill levels.

– Simar

“I enjoyed connecting with like minded people and visually seeing the impact our group made in the area we worked on. Great way to provide an opportunity for the public to contribute to cleaning up their neighborhood and achieving a sense of accomplishment.

– Sue

Thank You!

Funding to make this activity possible was provided by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Thank you to Mandip and TD FEF for supporting our work to foster deeper connections to community and nature, leading to improved mental and physical health and more environmentally responsible behaviour!

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 in Ruth Johnson Park with the City of White Rock since 2013. Through this partnership 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!

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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