Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 31 community members at Knockan Hill Park in Saanich! One of the goals of this activity was to engage newcomers to Saanich as well as Saanich Families. In total we had 6 newcomers to Saanich, as well as two Saanich families participate. 

We primarily removed English Ivy, Daphne, and Scotch Broom. These invasive species have been crowding out the native plants in this forest, and harming the natural ecosystem in the process. We had to be very careful as we worked to avoid disturbing the soil, so we mainly cut off Broom and Daphne from their roots instead of digging them up. Soil is a very important part of an ecosystem; it contains nutrients for plants but also is a home to many micro-organisms such as insects, fungi, and bacteria that are essential to the health of the plants and animals living in a particular habitat. These micro-organisms help with processes like decomposing dead matter to create new nutrients, so it’s very important not to disturb them too much! Some of the native species we saw in the area were Oregon Grape and Sword Fern—these species will now have more space to grow and the forest will be in balance again!

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Chiaki, Izzy, Liam, Abi, Yahsin, Laura, Stefan, Janet, Konosuke, Joel, Marianne, Andre, Barbara, Houtian, Hong, Peter, Nancy, Becca, Olivia, Laura, Jason, Chad, Sharon, Kiersten, Elizabeth, Jason, Chloe, Sam, Sarah & Maya, and Brad & Jake from Saanich Parks!

Thank-you very much to the District of Saanich for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities, and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

And a huge THANK YOU to Nancy Densmore from Saanich Parks’ Pulling It Together program! Nancy is the lead steward at Knockan Hill Park. If anyone wants to continue volunteering in this lovely park, contact Nancy at

Group Photo!

Highlights

  • In total 31 community members participated (6 who were new to Saanich & 2 families!) and contributed to 98 volunteer hours!
  • 18 volunteers were introduced to Knockan Hill Park, while 10 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 18 cubic metres of invasive plants and revitalized 500 square metres of forest!
  • We saved 25 trees from being smothered by ivy!
  • We were visited by several friendly dogs & dog-walkers who came through the park!

Before and After Photos

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
  • Have improved mental and physical health
  • Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
  • Learn the value of bringing together people to work towards a common goal
  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance

Volunteer Testimonials

“The Green Team brings together many people to help remove lots of invasive species and to plant native species.” – Barbara

Attacking the ocean of ivy!

Action Shots

Thank you to Lush, TruEarth, Green Beaver, & Earth Rated for donating in-kind gifts for our hard-working volunteers to take home!

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