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Youth Activity! Invasive Species Removal at Sue Mar Park, Colwood, on November 17 2022

Group shot of one of the awesome classes that volunteered!

Highlights

  • 80 students, 6 teachers & 2 parent volunteers from Wishart Elementary School, and 1 community member, joined us and contributed 110 volunteer hours in total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Ms. Bevan’s Grade 3/4 class, Ms. Walkey’s Grade 3/4 class, Ms. Brown’s Grade 4/5 class, Ms. Beeston’s Grade 4/5 class, the student teachers, all the parent volunteers, and Becca!
  • 7.6 cubic metres of invasive species were removed!
    • Species removed included English Ivy and Scotch Broom!
  • Approximately 68 litres of litter was removed from the forest!
  • An area of 150 metres squared had invasive plants and garbage removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of the Wishart Elementary students!

Thank you to the City of Colwood for partnering with us! Their support made this activity possible.

Before & After Photos

On Thursday November 17, 2022, the Greater Victoria Green Team and the City of Colwood partnered up to host a youth activity for Wishart Elementary School! 89 students, teachers, parent volunteers and a community member volunteer spent a fun day removing invasive English Ivy and Scotch Broom from Sue Mar Park, just down the road from their school. Their efforts have helped revitalize the habitat in this local park, and the students learned a lot about invasive species, identifying different plants, and the importance of environmental stewardship.

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, participating students 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.

Testimonials

“The impact is huge. Not only is the program doing an action that directly benefits local plants, but it also teaches the students (and the adults!) about the local plants and what invasive species are around. It also taught us exactly how the invasive species harms the local species. In addition to this, I loved that the organizer talked to us about how this is an act of reconciliation and how are helping the native plants to the area. The students have not stopped talking about it and want to do more, so it is also getting the next generation excited about helping out local natural environment.” – Larissa, Wishart Elementary School teacher

“I did not think this would be very fun, but it actually is really fun!” – Grade 4 student

“I have some ivy at my house. I am going to pull it out! – Grade 3 student

“I loved knowing we were a part of helping local nature, and getting involved. I also really enjoyed seeing the students so excited to help and participate. It was a great experience overall!” – Grade 4 teacher

“Overall this was incredible, thank you so much for inviting us and allowing us to take part! We can’t wait to do this again.” – Grade 4 teacher

This activity was led by the Greater Victoria Green Team‘s Program Coordinator, Kaitlin Warren.

Kaitlin was hired as part of Green Teams of Canada‘s Youth Leadership Program, and is gaining hands-on experience organizing and leading communities, in addition to helping strengthen and build our organization!

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