Burke Mountain, Coquitlam – September 10, 2022
- 30 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 89 hours total
- Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for making this day so amazing: Heikal, Sarah, Jade, Katherine, Jennifer, Heather, Elise, Hannah, Ash, Tony, Caelan, Sandy, Alexis, Joshua, Ash, Ben, Peck, Aryan, Saunam, Suzie, Naghmeh, Denise, Yuka, Amos, Colin, Monica, Ethan, Ashley, Aghil and Shuta!
- Our Green Team brought together people from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley and Surrey!
- 13 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 81 bathtubs), including SO MANY stubborn, massive roots (see photos of these HUGE roots below). Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
- More than just invasive blackberry was removed, as old headphones, tiny scissors and drink cans were also found
- 20 participants visited Burke Mountain for the first time
- 15 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
- An area of 101 square metres of habitat had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized
- This was the first of two activities at this location, with the second taking place the next day on Sunday September 11. Click here to read about and see photos from the September 11 activity here!
On Saturday September 10, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of Coquitlam partnered up to engage community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal at Burke Mountain (along Don Moore Dr) in Coquitlam.
It was a hot (31 degrees Celsius!) sunny day for the 30 awesome people who joined us at this activity to restore a local habitat. Using teamwork, an incredible amount of Himalayan blackberry was removed and areas previously overtaken by this invasive plant were cleared of brambles and roots. Everyone was amazed and empowered by the difference made by a small group of people over just a few hours!
While Himalayan blackberry produces delicious berries that humans, birds and animals all enjoy, this aggressive plant tends to take over natural areas making it hard for anything else to grow – including native plants that also produce delicious berries that many local species depend upon. By removing this plant we are creating space for more biodiversity, which in turn will help make the area more resilient and functional, not to mention beautiful.
During our break, watermelon (a hydrating snack!), homemade vegan brownies, blackberry lemonade as well as other snacks were enjoyed alongside conversations with new friends.
This natural area wasn’t the only one to benefit from our efforts, as everyone had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to work together in this beautiful outdoor setting. New friends were made, new skills were gained and everyone was able to experience the benefits of being in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and improved memory, focus and mental clarity. Not to mention the great physical exercise everyone got while restoring the area! Additionally, through this experience we are helping the community connect to and cultivate a deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities.
Monica and Ashley showing off the awesome Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver they took home after joining us at this activity!
Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated, Sleepy Lotion and Dirty/Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets from LUSH and Laundry Detergent Strips from Tru Earth! 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 email@example.com!
This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager, Ashton Kerr, and Program Coordinator, Reenaz Nawar. Reenaz has been hired as part of Green Teams of Canada‘s Youth Leadership Program and is gaining hands-on experience organizing and leading communities, and also helping strengthen and build our organization!
Thank you to Julie Kanya and Marianne Fernandez at the City of Coquitlam for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and providing the financial support and direction to make this activity possible!
What Volunteers Said…
“Proper training and equipments, great orientation by Ashton and Reenaz, great group to work with, and I enjoyed the feeling of helping the environment. I feel the impact of this program is helping people to make connections and friends, and saving and preserving the environment. Thank you!”– Nagmeh
“It was great to get out there and work as a team to rid the area of the invasive blackberry plants in such a short period of time. The before and after pictures of the area were truly amazing! I know it makes me proud to be part of the team today to accomplish so much and to have fun at the same time! Loved every part of the experience today from the intros and demos to the refreshments and group pictures!
I feel the impact of this program is to get out there as a team to accomplish so much in so little time and to have fun while making new friends. It is great to see our progress through the pictures taken today and proudly say “This is what we as a team did today for the community of Coquitlam”.”– Tony