Invasive Species Removal at Uplands Park in Oak Bay, July 8, 2023!
Group photo of the amazing community members who joined us for this activity!
The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 40 community members from all over the Greater Victoria region to remove invasive English ivy, and daphne laurel in the District of Oak Bay’s Uplands Park! We also removed woody debris from the forest floor to help mitigate the risk of forest fires through the dry summer season. The Friends of Uplands Park Society has been working on removing invasive plants from this park for many years, involving community members in the process. Collaborating with Margaret from the Friends of Uplands Park Society, we learned about the history of restoration work in the park and helped contribute to this big project! Ecological restoration is a team effort that provides many wonderful opportunities for community engagement.
Starting the day off learning about restoration efforts in Uplands Park from Margaret (Friends of Uplands Park Society)
Before & After Photos!
Highlights from the day!
- In total 40 community members participated and contributed a total of 125 volunteer hours!
- We removed 20 cubic metres of invasive plants and revitalized 200 square metres of the forest!
- 12 community members were introduced to this location for the very first time!
- 10 community members learned about and removed invasive plants for the very first time!
Thank you so much to everyone that participated: Paul, Hannah, Aidan, Stuart, Skyler, Gordon, Calvin, Haydn, Trista, Galvany, Marcus, Rob, Lyda, Lisa, Dane, Sophia, Alan, Mitchell, Nate, Asher, Tsuyoshi, Audrey, Jennifer (and her youngster), Wayne, Maggie, Hyosen, Yvonne, Layanna, Corrine, Iris, Alex, Liz, Fernanda, Amanda, and Helena! We really appreciate all the work you put in!
Thank you very much to the District of Oak Bay for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities! Thank you for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!
Thank you as Well to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for supporting us through their grant!
For this activity, we were joined by our Executive Director and founder, Lyda Salatian. One of our regular volunteers, Yvonne recognized Lyda from years ago when volunteering with the Lower Mainland Green Team. What a small world and such an incredible full-circle moment for our charity, Green Teams of Canada!
Why we do this restoration work
Invasive species like English Ivy, cleavers, and daphne laurel have been crowding and shading out the native understory and threatening the trees growing in this park. Ivy can smother trees by competing with them for nutrients and light, which makes the trees weaker and more susceptible to fall. The Friends of Uplands Park and The District of Oak Bay have been working on removing invasive plants and replanting native plants in the park for years, and it is incredible to see the difference that the work has made over time. Native species like June plum, Trailing Blackberry, Indigenous rose, and honey suckle are growing back in areas that used to be covered in ivy.
Equally inspiring is seeing just how many people come out to tackle invasive species in this forest! Community members of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds came together on Saturday to connect with each other and with nature. It is truly amazing to see so many people working together towards a goal, all while having fun and making new friends!
By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:
- Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
- Have improved mental and physical health
- Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
- Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
- Learn the value of bringing together people to work towards a common goal
- Become leaders in their communities
- Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance
Cami (our Greater Victoria Green Team mascot) had a photoshoot today! Check them out in action!
Community In Action!
Spreading Great Camas Seeds!
Margaret and Friends of Uplands Park provided some Great Camas seeds for the volunteers to help spread throughout the previously cleared area. Camas is a culturally significant native plant that has been growing here in Uplands Park for thousands of years. It was so impactful for the community to partake in this full circle restoration by helping the area re-populate with the plants that naturally occur here.
What Participants Are Saying…
I liked the charismatic attitude of Kaitlin and Severine. I liked the explanation of the rest of Team. That was my first time and because my english listening is not advanced I didn’t want to make a mistake. So, kind and clear approach from the Leaders helped me to feel better and do a better job.Galvany
[I enjoyed] enthusiasm of organizers, like-minded attendees, social/community aspect. Will gladly participate in more events!Skyler
Thank you to the fantastic local eco-friendly businesses Gathering Place Trading and Tru Earth that donated In-kind products 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 Kaitlin at
This Activity was run by our Program Manager, Kaitlin, and our Program Coordinator, Severine!
Severine was hired as part of the Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing!
We had a special guest at this activity all the way from the Lower Mainland: Lyda, the executive director and founder of Green Teams of Canada, joined us at this activity!