Earth Week Invasive Blackberry Removal at Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond – April 15, 2023

Earth Week Invasive Blackberry Removal at Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond – April 15, 2023

Group photo of the 34 amazing community members who joined us for this activity!

Highlights From The Day

  • 34 wonderful members of the community joined us and contributed 99 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your incredible work and for joining us despite a rainy forecast: Alfred, Art, Charlotte and Parker and their son Jasper, Chelsea, Clinton and his son Ryan, Daniel, Diana, Jerome, Eden, Emily, Evelyn, Hoi Ning (Helin), Tin Yau (Tiann), Howard, James, Jiwon and Ray and their son Adrian, Kathryn and her son Kairos, Katharina and her son Ludwig, Kevin, Mike, Tarrah, Mylo, Polly and her sons Brandon, Devin and Ryan, and Suzie!

  • All ages, backgrounds, and experience levels were engaged including families, returning Green Team volunteers, and first-timers!
    • 8 people visited Terra Nova Rural Park for the first time
    • 12 people removed invasive plants for the first time
    • Charlotte, Parker and their son Jasper recently moved to Richmond from Hong Kong – welcome to BC and our Green Team, we are excited to have you as part of our community!
    • Tarrah invited her friend Mylo to this activity, who had never done any type of gardening work before. He quickly became a master at removing blackberry and had lots of fun! Green Team activities are an excellent place to bring friends and make new ones!
    • Emily, Katharina and her son Ludwig are part of the Terra Nova Nature School and were thrilled to be making a positive impact in an area where students frequently play. 
    • Our youngest volunteers, Ryan F., Ludwig, Brandon, Devin, Ryan H., Jasper and Adrian weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and had an incredible impact. We love seeing all ages, especially youth, coming out to experience nature and try new things!
    • Our Green Team brought together people from all over the Lower Mainland including Richmond (24), Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, White Rock and Langley!

  • The rain stayed away for our amazing community who:
    • Revitalized an area of 63 metres squared
    • Removed a volume of 24.5 cubic metres (153 bathtubs full) of invasive Himalayan blackberry
      • 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. By removing this invasive plant we are creating space for native plants and trees to grow and better support all sorts of wildlife, including birds!
  • It was such an empowering and impactful day! New friends were made, enthusiasm was strong and everyone was grateful for no rain and the opportunity to come together. Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

  • Multiple people who garden at the Terra Nova Rural Park Farm Centre thanked us for our work as they have observed this Himalayan blackberry bush taking over established and newly planted trees in the area. Now there is more space for existing and new trees to grow!

Before & After Photos

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

This activity was run in celebration of Richmond Earth Week and was made possible thanks to financial support and direction from the City of Richmond.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing programs offered by awesome local groups across the City from April 15-23, 2023 on the City’s website HERE! This includes another Lower Mainland Green Team activity at this same location on Saturday April 22 from 9:45am-1pm building on the hard work of everyone at this activity!

Through partnership between our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and the City of Richmond we are engaging the community in fostering deeper connections to others and nature, leading to improved mental, physical, environmental, and community health!

What Volunteers Said

“I enjoy being in nature, being part of the community, making some friends, and it’s nice to be in a good cause. It’s really helping the trees and keeping a healthy environment. How important that we learn about native plants and invasive plants, it’s a good education source for our younger generation!”

– Polly

7 year old Devin and his 3 year old brother Ryan loved the outdoor play opportunity and found worms, slugs and caterpillars!

In-Action Photos

Our Staff

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager Ashton Kerr.


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