Earth Week Invasive Ivy & Holly Removal at Ruth Johnson Park, White Rock – April 23, 2023

Earth Week Invasive Ivy & Holly Removal at Ruth Johnson Park, White Rock – April 23, 2023

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

Highlights From The Day

  • 35 wonderful members of the community joined us and contributed 100.5 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and awesome energy: Steven, Ashish, Gill, Geoff, Mike, Shelley and her sons Lucas and Marco, Jashandeep, James, Brownie, Wendy and her kids Ben and Adeline, Michelle and Scott and their daughters Mira and Emma, Margret, Dorothy, Jenna H., Dilpreet, Sesame, Lin, David, Simrin and her sister Jenna D., Jan, Gary, Simar and Amrit and their kids Sahil, Jodah, and Saroj, Shawn and Lyda (our Founder and Executive Director)!

  • All ages, backgrounds, and experience levels were engaged including families, returning Green Team volunteers, and first-timers!
    • 12 people visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
    • 7 people removed invasive plants for the first time
    • Sesame took transit and biked to this activity from Richmond
    • James shared his eco-friendly landscaping and horticulture experience with us
    • Lin and David just moved back to Canada from France 10 days ago and were excited to be part of this community building experience
    • Gill also volunteers for the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society, an amazing local group to get involved with
    • Steven, Jan and Gary, some of our awesome volunteers who come out regularly, were a huge help in setting up, taking down and guiding others
    • Mike was an excellent help during the instruction by assisting with demos
    • Our youngest volunteers, Adeline (2 years old!), Ben, Mira, Emma, Lucas, Marco, Sahil, Jodah and Saroj got their hands dirty, had an incredible impact and fun being in nature! We love seeing all ages, especially youth, coming out to experience nature and try new things.
      • Sahil also gave an excellent explanation of an invasive species and earned a round of applause during our introduction
    • Our Green Team brought together people from all over the Lower Mainland including White Rock, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver!

  • Despite a rainy forecast, we had a dry day for our amazing community who:
    • Revitalized an area of 417 metres squared
    • Removed a volume of 27 cubic metres (169 bathtubs full) of invasive English ivy and English holly, as well as some English laurel, to increase biodiversity and make space for native plants and trees
      • English ivy is a common invasive plant found in our forests, gardens and even as house plants. Creating a thick mat on the forest floor, English ivy smothers shrubs, ferns and climbs up trees, adding extra weight and competing with the tree for resources. It can kill a mature tree in as little as 10 years! English holly and laurel (seen as a common hedge across the Lower Mainland) are invasive trees with dense, evergreen leaves that shade out native plants and young trees in forest settings.
  • It was such an empowering and impactful day! New friends were made, enthusiasm was strong and everyone was amazed at what we were accomplishing together as a community. Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

  • Thank you LUSH for providing Sleepy Lotion and Dirty/Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets to reward our amazing community!

  • Our Community Investment Partner, the City of White Rock, provided direction and funding to make this Earth Week activity possible!

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 Earth Week activity was made possible thanks to financial support and direction from the City of White Rock.

Our charity, Green Teams of Canada, has been working with the City of White Rock for over 10 years! Our incredible relationship demonstrates the importance of partnership and collaboration to effectively achieve common goals.

We are excited to be running 6 activities in 2023 with the City of White Rock to restore habitats and connect people to community and nature! SIGN UP FOR OUR NEXT WHITE ROCK ACTIVITY at West Beach on Sunday May 28, 2023 from 9:45am-1pm!

What Volunteers Said

“The experience was fantastic for our whole family! Everyone had fun helping and being in nature.

I really liked the enthusiasm displayed by the leader. She really pumped us up and was so cheerful, grateful and showed a lot of care for everyone. As well, you could tell she had a lot of experience and was so professional in a friendly way. She was always available to help us when needed and came to check on each group frequently. I never felt alone.

The impact is huge. We can literally see with our own eyes the impact we have on this location. Everyone helps bring invasive species to the pile-up and it just becomes massive and is such a sight to behold!”

– Michelle

“That huge pile of invasives was good for the soul! I feel this program builds community, builds environmental knowledge, and gets us off our screens! The program supports smaller towns that couldn’t possibly have enough paid staff to tackle what might seem like overwhelming volumes of invasive plants in local parks. Ashton (and team) was super organized and welcoming!”

– Gillian

“I enjoyed the exercise and sense of accomplishment”

– Brownie

“I was so amazed that we accomplished so much! It felt really good. And I met so many friendly people. I think we made an amazing impact on the forest. I was actually surprised at the vast amount of invasive species we were able to remove. I believe that our efforts have improved the outdoor experience for everyone using Ruth Johnson Park.”

– Margret

In-Action Photos

Our Staff

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

Our Founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian, also participated in the second half of this activity!


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