Burke Mountain, Coquitlam – September 11, 2022
- 38 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 120 hours total
- Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for making this day so awesome: Ian, Grant, Liana, Hanh, Niki, Filip, Kira, Joshua, Chloe, Nicholas, Abi, Reenaz, Marcella, Sonia, Duncan, Leanna, Sharmaine, Marissa, Kelly, Xavier, Jonas, Elan, Katherine, Lee, Heloise, Maiya, Evan, Jeff, Sue, Kai, Jade, Colin, Michelle, Kirk, Ruddens, Amelia, Lisa and Agam!
- Our Green Team brought together people from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, Burnaby and Langley!
- 17 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 106 bathtubs), including LOTS of stubborn, massive roots. Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
- 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of litter was removed including part of a Bocce ball set, golfballs, 2 CDs, a plastic gardening pot, pieces of plastic bags and wrappers, bottles and cans, 2 wooden shelves and pieces of a PVC pipe
- An area of 121 square metres had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized
- 16 participants visited Burke Mountain for the first time
- 18 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
- This was the second of two activities at this location, with the first taking place the day before on Saturday September 10. Click here to read about and see photos from the September 10 activity here!
On Sunday September 11, 2022 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of Coquitlam joined forces to engage community members in an invasive Himalayan blackberry removal at Burke Mountain (along Don Moore Dr) in Coquitlam.
It was a hot, smoky day for the 38 amazing people who joined us at this activity to make a positive impact on local habitat biodiversity. Despite some difficult terrain including slopes and a steep ditch, an incredible amount of Himalayan blackberry was removed to rescue trees and ferns from being smothered and prepare this site for the planting of native species. Wildfire smoke almost led to this activity being postponed, however everyone was advised to not exert themselves too much and masks were provided. It was empowering to see such a big 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 invasive plant tends to take over natural areas making it hard for anything else to grow. Focusing on removing roots so the plant doesn’t regrow, our work is creating space for more plants to grow to increase 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.
Elijah realized his dream of running a lemonade stand in his neighbourhood and offered ice cold, free drinks to our hard working community members!
Through this experience we are helping the community experience the benefits of being in nature with a welcoming group of people. Spending time in nature has been found to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, improve mood, memory and focus and also encourages getting physical exercise outside! The next time you need a break, head out for a walk to your local green space/park/trail to feel refreshed. Additionally, by providing experiences for people to be in nature safely together, we are helping participants cultivate a curiosity and deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities!
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, Megan Walker. Megan 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…
“I enjoyed that I was doing something to help the community. I feel that the impact of this program will help the community and be a good experience for other people.”– Liana
“What I enjoyed about my volunteering experience to day is the shovelling we did to get the invasive Himalayan Blackberries. What I feel the impact of this program is that I helped the community by digging out invasive plants!”– Ian
“I loved meeting new people and learning more about the environment in BC. Although it was just a small group of people, I know all of us worked really hard and it was heartwarming to see everyone contribute!”– Marissa
“I enjoyed how caring and helpful everyone was, it was really fun to join together as community to accomplish something. It helps the community connect and learn while also helping and saving the environment!”– Heloise
“I enjoyed being able to learn a bit about types of blackberry plants and hang out with my friends. I feel the impact of this program is being able to learn more about native/invasive species, a sense of accomplishment from helping the community, maybe convincing more people to join these type of events more often.”– Kai