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Coastal Sand Dune Restoration with Nature Conservancy Canada, April 28, 2023

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


  • 9 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 56 volunteer hours!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Melissa, Miriam, Joe, Blake, Layanna, Joelle, Sarah, Parker and Erica!
  • 4 cubic metres of invasive European beachgrass removed!
  • An area of about 100 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of our Green Team
    • We created space on the sand dune for native species like dunegrass and large-headed sedge to grow and thrive
    • We helped helped improve the habitat for the following endangered species: yellow sand-verbena, black knotweed, contorted-pod evening-primrose, and Howell’s triteleia
  • 5 participants visited our work site for the first time
  • 3 participants removed invasive plants for the first time

Thank you to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for partnering with us! Their support made this activity possible.

Before & After Photos from Friday April 28th

Before and After from April 14th to April 28th!

On Friday, April 28 2023, the Greater Victoria Green Team and the Nature Conservancy of Canada partnered up to continue removing invasive European beachgrass from a rare coastal sand ecosystem! Ten amazing community members came together to help revitalize this important ecosystem. Everyone put in a lot of hard work, and together we removed about 100 cubic metres of invasive beachgrass!

Coastal sand habitats are rare, with many at-risk species present, so removing invasive species is very important work! The at-risk species in this habitat include contorted-pod evening primrose, yellow sand-verbena, Howell’s triteleia, and black knotweed. More common native sand dune species include dunegrass and large-headed sedge.

European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) is native to the beaches of Europe and North Africa. It’s invasive all along the Pacific coast of North America from California to British Columbia, and it’s even invasive in New Zealand and Western Australia! It spreads by growing long, underground shoots called rhizomes that are capable of sprouting a new plant. These rhizomes can grow up to 2 metres long, and can even survive breaking off the plant, floating through the ocean to a new site, and growing on the beach they land on! The ease with which it can re-sprout makes it especially difficult to get rid of.

This was our 8th visit to this particular section of the beach. In August 2022 we visited the site 4 times and in April 2023 we visited it another 4 times to continue the restoration work! It takes a great commitment to the restoration work to ensure that these plants are effectively removed, creating more space for the native rare and endangered plants to thrive and repopulate the area!

We unearthed some really long rhizomes!

The rhizomes are where the grasses store energy and can re-sprout new bushels of grasses if not properly removed.

Joelle and a very long rhizome!

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 mood, 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 instill responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities.

Community in Action!

Click the arrows to view all the action shots from the day!

Thank you to Gathering Place, Elate Cosmetics, & Lush 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 interim Program Manager Kaitlin Warren at

This activity was organized by the Greater Victoria Green Team‘s Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren and the Green Teams of Canada Director of Programs and Partnerships, Amanda Evans!

Kaitlin was hired through Green Teams of Canada’s Youth Leadership Program. Interested in getting involved? Hiring for next year’s Youth Leaders will begin in the next couple of months! Keep an eye out on GTC’s website and social media for more information.


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