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Invasive Blackberry & Litter Cleanup at West Beach, White Rock – July 15, 2023

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

Highlights From The Day

  • 48 amazing members of the community joined us and contributed 162.5 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Abhay, Adrian, Alexander, Alexis, Amitha, Andrew, Angad, Ansh, Avery, Benjamin, Brandon, Brody, Bryce, Chau, Cheryl, Chris, Chuck, Devin, Doreen, Eshaan, Gary, Geoff, Gillian, Jan, Jashandeep, Jiwon, Joe, Justin, Leoh, Levi, Lien, Lucas, Marco, Marcus, Mehtab, Michael, Mimi, Nicholas, Polly, Ray, Roshan, Ryan, Shelley, Shener, Shuang, Tarrah, Vinay and Zorawar!

  • Together our team:
    • Removed a volume of 18 cubic metres (112 bathtubs full) of invasive Himalayan blackberry, including many stubborn roots which require more effort to remove, but take up less volume
    • Removed invasive plants from an area of 98 metres squared
    • Removed 20.5 pounds of beach litter
      • This included cigarette butts (274+), hard plastics (46+) such as cups and containers, soft plastics (88+) such as plastic bags and wrappers, styrofoam (8+), paper (110+), glass (18+), metal (35+) including many drink cans, and other random items including a rubber band, a battery, marijuana containers, a sock, a watershoe, rope and a lighter!
      • Thank you Chris for creating a litter tracking app for us, which we piloted at this activity!
  • Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

  • All ages, backgrounds, and experience levels were engaged including families, returning Green Team volunteers, and first-timers!
    • 19 people visited West Beach for the first time
    • 18 people removed invasive plants for the first time
    • Our Green Team brought together people from all over the Lower Mainland including White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver!
    • Thank you to Eshaan and students from the Seaquam Secondary’s Volunteer and Events Group for joining us!

  • Our Community Investment Partner, the City of White Rock, provided direction and funding to make this beach day possible!

Before & After Photos

Photos of the massive pile of blackberry we removed and bags of litter!

Habitat Restoration Progress at West Beach

Although Himalayan blackberry produces delicious berries humans and wildlife both enjoy, it’s an aggressive invasive plant that overtakes anything in its path. This limits biodiversity, habitat and food sources for wildlife in seasons when the plant is not fruiting.

Our team first started digging up blackberry from this stretch of the beach in May 2021 and has seen a noticeable reduction in the amount of blackberry regrowing each year. 

At this activity we discovered beach pea, a beautiful flowering native plant, in the areas we first cleared and have been maintaining! 

This was incredibly exciting for us to find and demonstrates that our hard work is paying off with more biodiversity and resiliency returning to these dunes. 

Read the summaries of each past activity at this location by clicking the following dates: May 28, 2023, August 20, 2022, September 17, 2022, May 14, 2022, October 9, 2021, September 18, 2021 and May 29, 2021.

We look forward to building on the hard work of everyone at this activity when we return to West Beach again this fall!

Why Do We Do This Work?

The Lower Mainland Green Team organizes hands-on educational activities that have a positive environmental impact to empower people. Through activities such as invasive plant removals, plantings, litter cleanups and more, we are fostering connections with others and nature so that health and well-being is prioritized, lifelong environmental stewardship is promoted, and community members are enabled to take care of themselves, each other and the places they live. We all have the power to make a difference!

We all experience mental and physical health benefits from spending time in nature, including reduced stress and anxiety, and improved mood, focus, memory and more. While doing so, we can also have a positive impact on the environment as demonstrated through this activity!

Partner For This Activity

A huge THANK YOU to the City of White Rock for making this activity possible with their financial support and direction!

Our charity, Green Teams of Canada, has been working with the City of White Rock for over 10 years! Together we are achieving our common goals and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship.

We are excited to be running 6 activities in 2023 with the City of White Rock to restore habitats and connect people to community and nature! Keep an eye on our Meetup Page for future White Rock activities at West Beach and Ruth Johnson Park this fall!

What Volunteers Said

“I loved helping the environment with my friends. This program really improves the health of the environment as well as uniting the community to reach a common goal.”

– Angad

“Everyone was so nice and I felt very welcomed”

– Abhay

“Ashton did a great job of organizing today’s event! Everyone seemed to really have a good time, too.”

– Chuck

“A great fun day with a great crew. Thanks for making this happen!”

– Doreen

In-Action Photos

In-Kind Supporters

Thank you to the following businesses for donating items to thank our amazing volunteers:

  • LUSH for providing Sleepy Lotion and Dirty/Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets
  • Tru Earth for providing Laundry Detergent Strips
  • Nature Bee for providing multi-purpose spray tablets
  • OLA Bamboo for providing reusable bamboo cutlery sets
  • Carina Organics for providing natural shampoo and body wash

Our Staff

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager Ashton Kerr (left) and Green Teams of Canada‘s founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian, (right) who also founded our Lower Mainland Green Team in 2011!

THANK YOU!

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