Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

West Beach, White Rock – September 17, 2022

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

Highlights

  • 51 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 151 hours total
    • Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for making this day so awesome: Yoyo, Jade, Taylor, Candice, Henry, Peter, Riley, Haley, Jerry, Mary Anne, Jules, Jonathan, Suzie, Gabriella, Jessica, Joevana, Isabelle, Ricky, Maneet, Janica, Mia, Maneet, Lillian, Karen, Mirabel, Celine Audrey, Sahij, Lauren, Michael, Filip, Kira, Stephen, Hailey, Clara, Yathharthha, Ella, Chantel, Gabriel, Eric, Bella, Ritu, Amos, Aiden, Angie, Kaiden, Tony, Navneh, Yuxuan, Shan, Remi and Cheryl!
    • Our Green Team brought together people from White Rock, Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver and New Westminster!
  • 10.5 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 66 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!
  • An area of 310 square metres had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized
  • 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of litter was cleaned up from the beach, with most of the weight coming from old rusted metal
  • 14 participants visited West Beach for the first time
  • 33 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • The Earl Marriott Secondary LEO Club and Grassroots Environmental Club joined us, as well as many IB students from Semiahmoo Secondary!
  • Members from the Vancouver Young Professionals Rotaract Club also joined us!

On Saturday September 17, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of White Rock partnered up to engage community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal and litter cleanup at beautiful West Beach in White Rock.

51 community members from near and far joined us on this warm, sunny morning to make a positive impact along the beach. While hard soil made it more challenging to dig, it didn’t stop our determined community from using teamwork to remove roots of all sizes! It was very empowering seeing so many people come together to achieve a common goal, and reminds us that anything is possible when we work together!

Navneh cleaned up 12 pounds of beach litter, including cigarette butts, drink containers and food wrappers!

Her work was followed up by the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society, who continued to clean up litter at West Beach the next day! Make sure to check out this awesome local group to get more involved in the amazing work they do.

Watermelon, homemade vegan brownies, veggies and dip, juice as well as other yummy snacks were enjoyed by all!

While we love eating the delicious berries produced by Himalayan blackberry plants, this aggressive invasive species quickly overtakes natural areas and makes it challenging for native plants to grow. By removing this plant we are creating space for more plants and are therefore increasing biodiversity, which in turn will help make the area more resilient and functional, not to mention beautiful.

This was our 6th visit to West Beach and our work at this activity focused on removing blackberry that had regrown from previously cleared patches before focussing on larger bushes. Since our Green Team started working at West Beach in May 2021, we have seen a noticeable reduction in the amount of invasive Himalayan blackberry in the area! As with the restoration of any site, West Beach is an ongoing effort that we will continue to visit.

Read the summaries of each past activity at this location by clicking the following dates: May 14, 2022, October 9, 2021, September 18, 2021, May 29, 2021 and August 20, 2022.

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!

Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated, Dirty/Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets and Sleepy Lotion from Lush , Beeswax Tealight Candles from Honey Candles and Laundry Detergent Strips from Tru Earth! 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 !

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager, Ashton Kerr, and Program Coordinator, Megan Walker. Megan has been hired as part of Green Teams of Canada‘s Youth Leadership Program and is gaining hands-on experience organizing and leading communities, and also helping strengthen and build our organization!

Thank You!

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 partnership with the City of White Rock since 2013. Thanks to the City’s financial support and direction, our Green Team has engaged 800+ 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!

What Volunteers Said…

“I liked how I felt I was helping the environment by getting rid of invasive plants. It was interesting to learn how to get rid of plants and information about the blackberry plants. This program has a good impact on the environment by leading projects to help environmental issues. I think this program encourages people to show more care to nature and broaden their knowledge.”

– Lillian

“So much fun!”

– Bella

“Just the experience of working alongside my friends was really fun. Even though we didn’t remove a massive amount of the invasive plants in one day, I’m sure this program has/is going to bring back some of the biodiversity as all the efforts from volunteers pile up! I really enjoyed volunteering for the first time and the three hours we spent seemed to fly by pretty quickly! Thank you for organizing this”

– Janica

“I enjoyed meeting new people, and being able to work together towards a common goal. The impact of the program is very strong. Afterwards, I could see the dent we made, but it really hit when I saw the before and after pictures posted. Seeing what a huge difference was made was really mind-blowing!”

– Angie

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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