Ruth Johnson Park, White Rock – November 27, 2022
- 29 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 88 hours total
- Thank you so much for your incredible work and for making this day spectacular: Amisha, Amos, Brownie, Caryn, Cheryl, Dakota, Daniel, Deepakshi, Ed, Evelyn, Gary, Harry, Hoi Ning (Helin), Indermohan, James, Eric, Jan, Janette, Kit Yu, Kitty, Lovepreet, Manny, Shauna, Stephen, Steven, Sylvie, Tin Yau (Tiann), Yathharthha, and Yoyo!
- Our Green Team brought together people from White Rock, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Richmond, Vancouver and Point Roberts!
- 25 cubic metres of invasive English ivy, English holly and English (Cherry) laurel was removed (equivalent to the volume of 156 bathtubs) – this is HUGE! Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of this page.
- An area of 446 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of our Green Team
- 14 participants visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
- 7 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
- This was the first activity that Megan and Reenaz, our Program Coordinators hired as part of our Youth Leadership Program, led on their own!
- The City of White Rock made this activity possible through their funding and direction!
- This activity was featured in the Peace Arch News on November 13, 2022. CLICK HERE to read the article!
Before and After Photos
Click to make the images bigger!
On Sunday November 27, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and City of White Rock partnered up to engage community members in removing invasive plants from Ruth Johnson Park in White Rock.
Our amazing team of 27 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels came together to make an incredible impact on this local habitat. Working together, vines upon vines of invasive English ivy as well as a number of gigantic invasive English holly and English laurel trees were removed to allow for native plants and trees to grow, flourish, and thrive!
We’ve been working in Ruth Johnson Park since 2013, and this wasn’t our first visit to this area of the park. Click the following dates to read about and see photos (including before and afters!) from past activities in this area of the park: October 29, 2022, July 17, 2022, June 21, 2022, April 22, 2022, October 27, 2021, October 23, 2021, April 22, 2021 and March 3, 2021!
When we remove invasive plants we are helping to increase biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, which strengthens and enables the area to better adapt to the effects of climate change. We were thrilled to find native Trailing blackberry already growing in patches where we previously removed blankets of ivy, proof that our efforts are working! We can all do our part by not buying these plants, removing and replacing them with native vegetation, and educating others.
Our youngest volunteer, Eric, found another invasive species, a Black slug!
These slugs can sometimes endanger sensitive ecosystems and out-compete native banana slugs.
By learning more about what invasive plants are and how they can be harmful, we are helping the community better understand other invasive species, as well as be better-equipped to recognize invasive plants and protect native plants.
In addition to the positive environmental impact of this activity, new friends were made, existing relationships were deepened, and a connection to community and nature was fostered. By providing experiences for the community to spend time in nature together, we are helping cultivate a deeper understanding and respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities! Additionally, everyone was 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, focus and sleep. If you ever need a break, there’s no better place to take one than in nature!
Amos holding a cooler pack that was ditched in the forest!
Snacks, snacks, snacks! Homemade vegan brownies, hot chocolate, juice, Bubly, veggie chips, trail mix, vegan popcorn generously provided by Noochpop and more were enjoyed during our break. We offer a large variety of snacks to ensure there is something for everyone, and to show our appreciation for our volunteers!
Our community members took home a thank you gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Concentrated Cleaning Tablets by Nature Bee Clean, Laundry Detergent Strips from Tru Earth, Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated, Sleepy Lotion and Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets from LUSH, Reusable Bamboo Utensil Kits from OLA Bamboo 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 !
What Volunteers Said
“I learned today about how different types of invasive species affect the environment. The Lower Mainland Green Team also brought me together with other people and it was nice to really get to know them and their different passions. I will definitely do this again!”– Janette
“My son and I had a wonderful experience volunteering at this event! The two youth leaders (Megan and Reenaz) did an exceptional job ‘taking the reins” for the day. We haven’t enjoyed ourselves or felt such a connection with such amazing people in a long time. We made new, friends, felt supported and enjoyed a great feeling of accomplishment in that beautiful space. It was an experience of a lifetime that we will never forget! It was a top-notch event handled professionally and supportively.
We all need our planet, the soil, air and water to be clean in order for us to survive and be healthy. Protecting our environment is the most important thing we can do at this point in time. Befriending each other and realizing our common goals is another great impact of the program. Also, the importance of removing of invasive plants and planting native plants is extremely important for the ecosystem so the forest can thrive. Loved seeing all ages involved and taking their time out for this amazing event. Great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to share a wonderful and rewarding experience!”– Shauna
Thank you to Justin Schneider, Spencer Booth and Jim Gordon at the City of White Rock for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity possible!
This year in White Rock we had an incredible impact. Across 8 activities we’ve engaged 329 community members and youth in removing 110.5 cubic metres (over 690 bathtubs full!) of invasive plants from natural areas. Of those that we engaged, 169 (51%) were visiting the green space for the first time and 175 (53%) removed invasive plants for the first time! By introducing people to natural areas and environmental stewardship, we are empowering them to spend more time in and care for nature – beneficial for human and environmental health!
Thank you City of White Rock for your continued support! We look forward to continuing our amazing work in 2023 and beyond.
Community Members in Action
This activity was the first activity led fully by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s 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!
At this activity was also the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager, Ashton Kerr and Green Teams of Canada‘s Executive Director and founder (as well as the founder of our Green Team!), Lyda Salatian.
They participated alongside community members and observed Reenaz and Megan as they led their first activity on their own!