Cunningham Woods, University of Victoria, November 20, 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Cunningham Woods on The University of Victoria Campus in Saanich. We removed English holly, English ivy, Thistle, Himalayan blackberry, and Spurge-Laurel daphne from this forest. These invasive species have been limiting the ability of native trees to reproduce within the forest. By removing around twenty, two to four metre tall English holly shrubs, we created light gaps that can be used by native trees when they are planted in the new year! After the Greater Victoria Green Team’s four events in Cunningham Woods throughout 2021, this forest is able to support more native biodiversity. Next year, the University Campus Planning and Sustainability Office will be organizing tree planting within the forest to increase the density of native trees in this forest. A special thank you to Mike Wilson, the Director of the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office who helped coordinate this activity.


Thank-you to everyone for participating: Carolyn, Chelsea, Jack, Daniil, Jeremy, Jamison, Jacinthe, Olga, Christina, Meghan, Jordan, Roy, Tristan, Erin, Martin, Lauren, Daniel, Chloe, Artem, Denise, Rhiannon, Clarisse, Will, Tristan, Richard, Julian, Helena, Kai and Patty!

Thank-you very much to the Uvic Campus Planning and Sustainability Office for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!



  • In total 30 volunteers participated and contributed to 80 volunteer hours.
  • 16 volunteers were introduced to Cunningham Woods while 7 volunteer had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 18 cubic metres of invasive plants and 1 pound of garbage!
  • We were visited by The Martlet, University of Victoria’s Student Newspaper!
  • Previous GVGT event at this park:

Before and After

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. 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
Will sporting his new Greater Victoria Green Team T-shirt and his sister Clarisse sporting her T-shirt she received from a previous event!
GVGT Community Members take down a HUGE invasive English holly shrub!
Time to haul it out to the road where it will be collected by campus staff!

Action Shots

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Earth Rated (Compostable Dog Poop Bags)

Volunteer Testimonials

“It was very clear what to do, we made a ton of progress and removing the invasive species was incredibly satisfying! For me personally, it helps me feel I’m giving back to the community and feel connected to my community and environment. I can see over multiple events how we’ve changed the environments we’ve worked on, making so much space for native species to grow.” – Rhiannon

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