Invasive Blackberry & Litter Cleanup at West Beach, White Rock – September 23, 2023

Invasive Blackberry & Litter Cleanup at West Beach, White Rock – September 23, 2023

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

Highlights From The Day

  • 44 amazing community members of diverse ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 135 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Adrian, Albert, Alexander, Alvin, Amitha, Andrea, Anji, Atharva, Audrey, Brownie, Bruce, Calvin, Carson, Caryn, Casmond, Caymanh, Chen, Chuck, Dorcas, Erika, Eshaan, Fazeel, Frankl, Geoff, Gillian, Harman, Hilary, Joany, Li, Liangbo, Lucretia, Matthew, Mirabel, Nitika, Ray, Ryo, Sam, Sesame, Tarrah, Vinay, Varun, William, Wylie and Zaryab!
      • Thank you to everyone who helped pack up the van with tools and supplies after this activity, many hands make for light work!
      • Thank you Dorcas, Adrian, Li and Bruce for all of your extra help with check-in and packing up!
      • Thank you to Eshaan and students from the Seaquam Secondary’s Volunteer and Events Group for joining us!
    • 17 people visited West Beach for the first time
    • 21 people removed invasive plants for the first time

  • Together our team:
    • Removed a volume of 11 cubic metres (68 bathtubs full) of invasive Himalayan blackberry, including many stubborn roots which require more effort to remove, but take up less volume
    • Removed invasive plants from an area of 144 metres squared
    • Removed 12 pounds of beach litter
      • This included cigarette butts, drink cans, rope, a loofah, a buoy, a Tupperware container lid and more!
      • Thanks William for cleaning up so much litter!
  • Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

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

Winners of Our Longest and Biggest Himalayan Blackberry Root Competition!

Before & After Photos

Photos of the pile of blackberry and litter we removed!

Habitat Restoration Progress at West Beach

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.

Our team first started digging up blackberry from this stretch of the beach in May 2021 and has seen a noticeable reduction in the amount of blackberry regrowing each year. 

Photos of what this site has looked like in the past

Read the summaries of each past activity at this location by clicking the following dates: July 15, 2023, May 28, 2023, August 20, 2022, September 17, 2022, May 14, 2022, October 9, 2021, September 18, 2021 and May 29, 2021.

We look forward to building on the hard work of everyone at this activity when we return to West Beach again in spring 2024!

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.

What Volunteers Said

“It was really fun, the staff are really nice. Ashton is really helpful for information. I really appreciate that she not only just tells us how to do the procedures, but she also explains really helpful facts, information and what things we can do on our own to help.”

– Li

“It was so good, we were able to do a lot and the roots were insane. It was so much fun, we ate a lot and everyone was friendly and I made some new friends. It was really cool!”

– Sam

“It was my first time down at the beach here and it was so good to see people dig in, chat with each other and remove a lot of blackberry. The weather started out great and now it’s raining but it still feels great because we got a lot of work done today. Thank you! It’s good to see the improvement, I hear the site has improved a lot over multiple years too.”

– Wiley

In-Action Photos

Ashton’s homemade vegan brownies got Brownie‘s seal of approval!

No tools left behind thanks to Adrian, Li and Bruce!

In-Kind Supporters

Thank you to the following businesses for donating items to thank our amazing volunteers:

  • LUSH for providing Karma Kream Lotion, Orange Shower Scrub and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner
  • Carina Organics for providing natural conditioner and body wash, which was given to winners of our biggest/longest blackberry root competition
  • Kicking Horse Coffee for providing ground coffee, which was given to winners of our biggest/longest blackberry root competition

Our Staff

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

Our NEW Program Coordinator, Andrea Robles (back right) and Green Teams of Canada‘s founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian (back left), also joined and assisted for training purposes.

We look forward to having Andrea lead Lower Mainland Green Team activities!


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