Coastal Sand Dune Restoration with Nature Conservancy Canada, April 21, 2023

Coastal Sand Dune Restoration with Nature Conservancy Canada, April 21, 2023

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


  • 8 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed more than 50 volunteer hours!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Laura, Edna, Sue, Mieka, Emi, Rosanna, Becca, and Gary!
  • 5 cubic metres of invasive European beachgrass removed!
  • An area of 125 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
  • 1 participant visited our work site for the first time
  • 1 participant 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

On Friday, April 21 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! Eight amazing community members came together to help revitalize this gorgeous park. Everyone put in a lot of hard work, and together we removed about 5 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.

We will be returning to this site next week, on Friday April 28th, to finish removing the last of the invasive beachgrass!

We also removed some garbage from the beach including pieces of styrofoam and a shoe! We also found other items that had washed ashore such as a tire and an antique oar!

Sue unearthed a long rhizome!

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

Gary and a very tall 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!

Volunteer Testimonials

“The beautiful environs, the wonderful people attending, the excellent instruction and feeling of accomplishment after all of our hard work! It was excellent through and through!”


“I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event and hopefully the GVGT can continue it’s relationship with the Nature Conservancy of Canada! I see huge potential to future restoration of this magnificent area, including the removal of more invasive European Beach Grass and future removal of the Scotch Broom. Could only make the area more beautiful and manageable for the future. Keep up the amazing work you do!”


Thank you to Gathering Place, Lush & OLA Bamboo 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.

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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