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Invasive Species Removal at Ocean View Park in Colwood – December 3, 2022

Group photo of the amazing community members who joined us for this activity!


  • 12 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 37 volunteer hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Gary, Chloe, Becca, Meaghan, Mason, Carter, Erik, Dallin, Janet, Tristan, Dean, and David!
  • 8 cubic metres of invasive species were removed!
    • Species removed included English Ivy, Daphne, Himalayan Blackberry, and English Holly!
  • An area of 300 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of our Green Team
  • 2 participants visited Ocean view Park for the first time
  • 1 participant removed invasive plants for the first time

Thank you to the CIty of Colwood for partnering with us! Their support made this activity possible, and we appreciate their commitment to empowering UVic students and the surrounding community in carrying out environmental stewardship!

Thank you as well to Colwood council members Dean & David for volunteering with us today!

Before & After Photos

On Saturday December 3, 2022, the Greater Victoria Green Team hosted an invasive species removal activity in partnership with the City of Colwood! 12 awesome community members spent the morning removing invasive English ivy, holly, and Daphne from Ocean View Park. It was a great opportunity to return to this beautiful, local ecosystem; GVGT has visited Ocean View Park in September and July this past year, so it was great to check in and see how areas we previously worked in have been recovering! It was also very inspiring to see people from all backgrounds, ages, abilities, and experience levels come together to contribute to the improvement of their community and feel a sense of belonging.

The main invasive plant that we tackled was English Ivy. It was growing all over the ground and beginning to grow up some tall trees as well. Ivy can kill a tree within ten years if left unchecked; it grows quickly and competes with the tree for resources, leaving it weakened and susceptible to being blown down. Removing ivy from the ground and from trees is really important to maintaining ecosystem health!

We also found a huge patch of Himalayan Blackberry that had overgrown a young Grand Fir tree. A group of volunteers did an amazing job or cutting back the entire patch & digging up the root crowns! The root crowns are where the plant stores its energy, so removing them helps reduce the chance of blackberry re-sprouting later.

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, our community members met new people, 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.

This big pile of ivy, blackberry, and other invasive plants is the result of the hard work of our volunteers! Awesome job everyone!!

Thank you to Nature Bee Clean, Lush, Tru Earth, EarthRated, and Elate for donating eco-gifts for our hard-working community members to take home!

Our community members took home a thank you gift from one of our in-kind supporters! 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 Maria or Kaitlin at or

Volunteer Testimonials

“Another positive and fun group. . I find it hard to believe I get to do this…for free! Delicious rice squares and gifts too. This program’s impact is that. it moves the needle forward.”

– David

“Always enjoy getting out and making our area look better after the group effort of removing invasive species! Nobody else is doing what the Green Team does to improve the look and feel of our local parks and wilderness areas around Colwood. It’s a long road ahead to remove invasive species, but what the Team does truly makes a difference.”

– Gary

Community in Action!

This activity was organized by the Greater Victoria Green Team‘s Interim Program Manager, Maria Varem.

Maria 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!

If you have questions about the Greater Victoria Green Team, Maria can be reached at .


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