Invasive Blackberry & Litter Cleanup at West Beach, White Rock – May 28, 2023

Invasive Blackberry & Litter Cleanup at West Beach, White Rock – May 28, 2023

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

Highlights From The Day

  • 43 wonderful members of the community joined us and contributed 133 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Jiwon, Jamie, Adrian, Ray, Shuang, Tarrah, Queena, Alex, Lubos, Yoyo, Jan, Gary, Cheryl, Marco, Lucas, Mirabel, Francis, Chris, Shelley, Gillian, Geoff, Brownie, Dorothy, Sesame, Michael, Rex, Sheldon, Wicky, Hayden, Helen, Valore, Jashandeep, Shehreen, Baltej, Megan, Janet, Dawsyn, Lennox, Milena, Anim, Anthony, Rodolfo and Erick!

  • Together our team:
    • Removed a volume of 12.5 cubic metres (78 bathtubs full) of invasive Himalayan blackberry, including many stubborn roots
      • Blackberry roots require more effort to remove and don’t take up much volume, but removing them significantly reduces the chances of plant regrowth
      • 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 more biodiversity, which in turn will help make the area more resilient, functional and beautiful!
    • Removed invasive plants from an area of 106 metres squared
    • Removed 47.5 pounds of beach litter
      • 17.5 pounds of smaller items including cigarette butts (100+), half a bucket, pieces of styrofoam, food wrappers, a diaper, cans, bottles and bottle caps, cups and lids, plastic bags, cannabis tubes, lighters and 4 socks, none which had a pair!
      • 30 pounds of larger items including rusted metal and plywood with nails
  • It was such an empowering and impactful day! New friends were made, enthusiasm was strong and everyone accomplished a lot by working together as a community. Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

  • All ages, backgrounds, and experience levels were engaged including families, returning Green Team volunteers, and first-timers!
    • 21 people visited West Beach for the first time
    • 7 people removed invasive plants for the first time
    • Sesame took transit and biked to this activity from Richmond!
    • Yoyo, Cheryl and Jashandeep are local students from Semiahmoo Secondary School and Mirabel from Earl Marriott Secondary School!
    • Marco and Lucas had so much fun at our last White Rock activity, they missed French class to come to this one!
    • Returning volunteers brought their friends and family to this activity: Thank you Jan, Gary, Megan, Dawsyn, Shelley, Marco and Lucas for introducing Shuang, Janet, Lennox, and Michael to our team!
    • Our youngest volunteers, Dawsyn, Lennox, Marco, Lucas, Rex, Valore, Erick and Anthony got their hands dirty, had a big impact and lots of fun being at the beach! 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 White Rock, Surrey, Langley, Mission, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver!

  • We’ve been working at West Beach since 2021 and have seen a noticeable reduction in the amount of invasive blackberry thanks to the hard work of our team!

  • Thank you to the following businesses for donating items to thank our amazing volunteers:
    • LUSH for providing Sleepy Lotion and Dirty/Sparkle Toothpaste Tablets
    • Tru Earth for providing Laundry Detergent Strips

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

Before & After Photos

Additional after photos of previously tackled areas with some regrowth of blackberry:

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

A huge THANK YOU to the City of White Rock for making this activity possible with their financial support and direction!

Our charity, Green Teams of Canada, has been working with the City of White Rock for over 10 years! Together we are achieving our common goals and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship.

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! Keep an eye on our Meetup Page for future White Rock activities at West Beach and Ruth Johnson Park!

What Volunteers Said

“I feel the impact is helping improve biodiversity in our community. Bring back native species back to the area. Bring people together in the community to make an impact on the environment.”

– Dorothy

“We enjoy the community aspect and we enjoy feeling like we’ve made an impact on cleaning up invasive species and garbage. We love the beach so we are giving back to the beach today. We really like the impact on reconciliation with the land.”

– Megan

In-Action Photos

Our Staff

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager Ashton Kerr (left) and Green Teams of Canada‘s founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian, (right) who also founded our Lower Mainland Green Team in 2011!


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