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Routley Park, Langley – November 3, 2022

Group photo of Ms. Wozney’s grade 5 class from R.C. Garnett Demonstration School who participated in the first session of this activity!
Group photo of Ms. Randall’s and Ms. Kufske’s grade 5 classes from Langley Meadows Community School who participated in the second session of this activity!

Highlights

  • 69 grade 5 students participated and contributed 106 hours total
    • Thank you so much to the 27 students in Ms. Wozney‘s grade 5 class: Vedaant, Isla, Harrison, Mason, Khloe, Ella, Lucas, Addisyn, Ethan, Sophie, Brayden, Joseph, Mason, Jason, Rian, Ella, Nayun, Madison, Aaradhay, Odyn, Carlos, Sarah, Logan, Isaiah, Mauricio, Kayla and Holly!
    • Thank you so much to the 20 students in Ms. Randall‘s grade 5 class: Adam, Nyomi, Jack, Kailey, Joey, Apple, Norah, Brody, Liana, Duncan, Melody, London, Kalie, Nica, Ethan, Henry, Blake, Keitumetse, Evan and Jna!
    • Thank you so much to the 22 students in Ms. Kufske‘s grade 5 class: Justin, Demetrius, Ella, Lorenzo, Juliette, Rylan, Zoey, Raisha, Raelyn, Haven, Robin, Bradley, Brayden, Harshiv, Hiten, Shiloh, Riley, Jacob, Iris, Giuliana, Shirley and Natalia!
  • 9 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of 56 bathtubs!), be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of this page!
  • 14 students visited Routley Park for the first time
  • 40 students removed invasive plants for the first time
  • The Township of Langley made this activity possible thanks to their financial support and direction!

Ms. Wozney’s Class In Action

Ms. Randall’s and Ms. Kufske’s Classes In Action

On Thursday November 3, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and Township of Langley partnered up to engage local youth in removing invasive Himalayan blackberry from Routley Park in Langley.

27 grade 5 students from R.C. Garnett Demonstration School and 42 grade 5 students from Langley Meadows Community School walked from their school to Routley Park to restore this natural area. Cooler temperatures and light rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of these youth, who were excited to spend the day outside making a positive impact in their local park with their classmates.

Invasive Himalayan blackberry didn’t stand a chance with many students remarking “this is fun!” and “I could do this all day!” as they cut brambles and dug up stubborn roots. Students Ms. Wozney’s class described the roots as “potatoes” because of large size and weight and shouted “another potato!” every time a root was removed. Between this and the largest root and longest bramble competition in Ms. Randall’s and Ms. Kufske’s classes, it was hard not to have fun!

While Himalayan blackberry produces delicious 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, these youth are helping to increase biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, which will make this habitat healthier and better able to adapt to the effects of climate change!

In addition to improving environmental health at Routley Park, these youth were able to get exercise outdoors, try something new, work together as a team, and connect to nature. By providing experiences for the youth to be in nature safely together, we are helping cultivate a curiosity and deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities! Additionally, they were 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. Many of the youth live near Routley Park and were very proud to be doing something good in their community!

Soil organisms such as beetles and worms were found! These critters help keep our soil healthy for plants and trees to grow.

A number of items that don’t belong in our habitats were found, including bottles and cans, food wrappers, tennis balls, a hockey puck and this soccer ball!

Thank You!

Thank you to Tovery Diener and Eric Fong at the Township of Langley for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity possible!

Many thanks to Olivia, Jordan and Max at the Township of Langley for joining us at this activity to help move the piles of removed blackberry brambles and roots, supervise and support the youth, and share your expertise!

Before and After Photos

(click images to make them bigger)

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