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Removing Invasive Himalayan Blackberry at Patricia Bay Park, North Saanich, October 23 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 5 community members at Patricia Bay Park in North Saanich to remove invasive species in the very first restoration activity at this site. Though we had a small group this day, we accomplished a lot! We will be back, continuing our progress, in this park on Saturday, November 26th from 9:45 to 1pm. We hope to continue to engage local community members and continue our work throughout, removing more and more blackberry to help contribute to the revitalization of this beautiful ocean-side park.

Plant species like Himalayan Blackberry crowd banks and undergrowth, making it impossible for new plants to grow. They also create higher risk of flood and erosion when they grow on hills and river banks. As such, we spent time removing these invasive plants in order to create open space for native plants to establish here. Himalayan blackberry, while tasty, can create problems for native animals as it provides insufficient habitat for pollinators and other animals. Many native animals in this area thrive when native plants are present. Removing the invasive plants helps create opportunity for native plants to sprout, benefiting the overall health of the entire ecosystem.


Thank-you to everyone for participating: Raey, Riu, Tact, Mark, and Peter!

Thank-you very much to the District of North 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!

Group Photo!


  • In total 5 community members participated and contributed to 17 volunteer hours!
  • 3 volunteers were introduced to Patricia Bay Park, while 2 volunteers had never removed invasive plants before!
  • Many new connections to community and nature were made throughout the day as we worked together towards the common goal of environmental remediation.
  • We cleared 75 square meters of this park of invasive plants. We removed a total of 4 cubic meters of Himalayan blackberry!
  • District of North Saanich provided funding and support for this event. They provided a green waste bin onsite to collect the plants we removed so they don’t re-root!

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

“I liked seeing the progress. Chatting with other people interested in environmental protection. The visibility of our efforts in this park can spur private landowners to tackle invasives in their own backyards.” -Mark

“It was great to be outside in the beautiful park and connect with some nice humans. I feel that this program is an opportunity to connect with the social side of environmental consciousness/stewardship while also doing something practically useful for local ecosystems.” -Raey

“I felt I’m working for our community and ecosystem.” -Riu

“GVGT is good at engaging interactions across a variety of age groups & sharing various viewpoints on important intellectual subjects.” – Peter

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

Action Shots

Thank you to Fatso, Nature Bee Clean, OLA Bamboo, Tru Earth, Green Beaver, and LUSH for donating in-kind gifts for our hard-working volunteers to take home!

Our hard working staff, Maria (front) and Kaitlin (back), hauling the last of the blackberry off to the bin before wrapping up the event.


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