Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

Reg Franklin Park, Maple Ridge – October 15, 2022

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

Highlights

  • 48 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 192 hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Alexis, Alice, Amanda, Andy, Chris, Colin, Daniel, Daniela, Eva, Filip, Gary, Hannah, Harim, Harin, Harry, Heath, Hillary, Hoi Ning (Helin), Jan, Jeff, Jessica, Katie, Kedicia, Keith, Kira, Laura, Lina, Marcel, Maria, Marty, Michael, Nicholas, Noah, Oliver, Patrick, Robert, Romil, Scott, Steve, Sue, Theresa, Tin Yau (Tiann), Todor, Trinh, Vita, Yanick, Yui and Yuliya!
    • Our Green Team brought together people from Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Langley and Vancouver!
  • 30.5 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 191 bathtubs – this is HUGE!), be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
  • 48 native shrubs and 2 native trees were planted including Oregon grape, Nootka rose, Snowberry, and Vine maple trees!
  • An area of 256 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of our Green Team
  • 41 participants visited Reg Franklin Park for the first time
  • 24 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • 20 participants planted for the first time
  • 17 staff from Transcontinental Printing‘s local office joined us at this activity to give back to the community and environment. Transcontinental Printing (TC) has generously donated to our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and the volunteer hours contributed by their staff at this activity will be translated into another donation through their $ for Doers program. Thank you so much TC for investing in our work!
    • Thank you to the following TC staff and their families and friends for their time and hard work: Alice, Chris, Daniela, Hillary, Keith, Marcel, Maria, Marty, Michael, Patrick, Romil, Theresa, Trinh, Yuliya, Yui, Kedicia, and Eva!
  • This activity was featured in the Maple Ridge News! CLICK HERE to read the article published on October 14, 2022.
  • The Alouette River Management Society made this activity possible by partnering with us!

On Saturday October 15, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) partnered up to engage community members in removing invasive Himalayan blackberry and planting native shrubs at Reg Franklin Park in Maple Ridge.

48 awesome community members from all over the Lower Mainland spent an incredible day servicing their community by helping restore this local park! Our hardworking team tackled a HUGE thicket of Himalayan Blackberry brambles and stubborn roots and removed a MASSIVE pile of this invasive plant. We were also very impressed by their dedication to clearing out the site to make space for all the 50 plants that were planted, as well as for local youth to plant the area on October 19th with ARMS! Not only are our community members helping to increase the biodiversity in this beautiful, local habitat, it was also very inspiring to see people from all backgrounds, ages, abilities and experience levels come together to contribute to the improvement of their community and feel a sense of belonging.

While Himalayan blackberry produces tasty berries that humans, birds and animals all enjoy, this aggressive invasive plant tends to take over natural areas making it hard for anything else to grow. Focusing on removing roots so the plant doesn’t regrow, our work is creating space for more plants (including native plants with berries!) and trees to grow to increase biodiversity, which in turn will help make the area more resilient and functional, as well as beautiful!

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 met new people, gained new skills and were able to experience the benefits of being out in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and improved moody, memory, focus and mental clarity. Not to mention the great physical exercise everyone got while restoring the area! By connecting people to nature, we help instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities.

Homemade vegan brownies, veggies and dip, fruit, juice, chips, trail mix and baked goods, bagels and coffee from Tim Hortons (provided by Transcontinental Printing – thank you so much for this delicious surprise!) were enjoyed by all during our break!

Our community members took home a thank you 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, Sleepy Lotion and Sparkle /Dirty Toothpaste Tablets from LUSH, Reusable Bamboo Utensil Kits from OLA Bamboo, Breakfast Cereal from Holy Crap and Tealight Candles from Honey Candles! 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 Coordinators, Reenaz Nawar and Megan Walker. Reenaz and Megan have been hired as part of Green Teams of Canada‘s Youth Leadership Program and are gaining hands-on experience organizing and leading communities, and are also helping strengthen and build our organization!

What Volunteers Said

“I enjoyed working with new people to accomplish a fulfilling task. Furthermore, I have never been to the area before, and trying out and learning new things was super enjoyable!

Although it can’t be seen immediately, increasing biodiversity makes our parks and green areas more enjoyable. It also helps raise awareness of a larger issue, considering that Himalayan blackberry is pretty much everywhere in this area of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest!”

– Colin

“I enjoyed seeing a group of people work together for a great cause and the joy it gives us. Also knowing that you have made a change in a community that I don’t live in. Meeting new people is always a good thing.

I believe the impact is huge. While I was leaving I asked two ladies that had just walked by us what they thought about the work being done by volunteers and their response was so positive and they expressed their support for the work done in the community park. That’s reason enough for me to volunteer again. Thanks for the opportunity. Your team is doing an awesome job.

– Patrick

“So many enthusiastic people! We achieved so much good. Habitat restoration, public education, bringing community together are impacts of this program. Also increased size of the park by removing solid mass of invasive brambles!

– Katie

“I got to help the earth, and make this area a little bit better and happier

– Andy

Thank You!

A huge thank you to Greta, Marissa and Layla at the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada (GTC), and providing the funding and direction to make this activity possible!

Together ARMS and GTC have put forward a budget proposal to the City of Maple Ridge to run many more activities that focus on building meaningful connections to community and nature through environmental stewardship. If you live in Maple Ridge, enjoyed this activity and want to support our work, let the City of Maple Ridge (staff, elected officials) know you want to see more!

CLICK HERE to learn more about ARMS and how to get involved with this amazing local charity!

A big thank you to Transcontinental Printing (TC) for giving back to the community and environment directly through their hard work at this activity, and also by donating to our charity! All volunteer hours contributed by TC staff at this activity will be translated into another donation through their $ for Doers program, which supports more amazing activities like this one and the growth of our organization!

We love seeing local companies engaging in environmental stewardship and supporting community organizations such as ours. Any companies interested in getting in touch to learn more about team-building opportunities and corporate sponsorship with Green Teams of Canada (GTC) can contact our Director of Programs and Partnerships, Amanda Evans, at .

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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