Invasive Blackberry Root Removal at Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond – March 18, 2023

Invasive Blackberry Root Removal at Terra Nova Rural Park, Richmond – March 18, 2023

Group photo of the 42 amazing community members who joined us for this activity!

Highlights From The Day

  • 42 community members joined us and contributed 123 hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Colin, Tarrah, Lan, Rene, Tao, Adrian, Jiwon, Steven C., Susan, Angelina, Ray, Sam, Steven C., Suzie, Bruno, Long Yin, Emily, Jessica, Megan, Harkaran, Jamie, Danny, Elaina, Amos, Angela, James, Jennifer, Marcella, Polly, Ryan H., Devin, Brandon, Veronica, Ryan F., Heather, Helin, Tiann, Harry, Sylvie, Sergey, Liz and Victoria!
    • Our Green Team brought together people from Richmond (33), Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley and Surrey!
    • We engaged all ages, backgrounds and experience levels including families, newcomers from China and South Africa, and first-timers!
    • Bruno from the Garden City Conservation Society joined us and came prepared with his own overalls, gloves and shovel!
    • Amos, one of our amazing recurring volunteers, brought his mom to this activity. We love meeting family members! 
    • Jiwon first volunteered with us 9 years ago when she was pregnant with her son Adrian. This was now Adrian‘s 5th activity with us and he’s become a real master at digging up blackberry roots!

  • 300+ invasive Himalayan blackberry roots were removed, totalling a volume of 3.6 cubic metres (22 bathtubs). We were SO impressed with the enthusiasm, teamwork and effort contributed by everyone! Scroll down to see before and after and in-action photos.
    • The most roots dug up by an individual/pair was counted at 35! Tarrah, Angelina and Elaina won prizes for their incredible root digging skills!
    • The biggest roots were dug up by some of our youngest volunteers! Brandon, Adrian and Jiwon, and Heather and Ryan won prizes for digging up some monster roots!
    • Although Himalayan blackberry produces delicious berries humans and animals both enjoy, it’s an aggressive invasive plant that overtakes anything in its path. This limits biodiversity and food sources for animals in seasons when the plant is not fruiting. By removing roots so the plant doesn’t regrow, we are creating space for other plants to grow, which will make the area a better habitat for local wildlife!

  • 10 participants visited Terra Nova Rural Park for the first time
  • 19 participants removed invasive plants for the first time

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 made possible thanks to financial support and direction from the City of Richmond.

Through partnership between our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and the City of Richmond we are 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

“It’s was a great day to work together with others and also share this experience with my son. There were several benefits: Enjoying nature, caring for the environment, mental health, sense of belonging [and] friendship.”

– Heather

“I enjoyed the coming together of people, the snacks, the good weather.”

– Jennifer

“I think the impact is not just learning about the environment, but rather learning with a bunch of new people that you’ve never met and making beautiful connections with the people you’re digging next to!”

– Veronica

“Thank you for the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and getting to know those in our community! I feel the impact of this program is to increase awareness of things we can do for the environment, and to bring the community together.”

– Megan

“I enjoyed the friendly people. This program teaches people about our environment. I learned a lot when listening to the hosts talk about invasive species”

– Angelina

“It was nice to go and enjoy the park. The completion was fun to participate in, and it was nice to see a variety of age groups help volunteer. The program can be very impactful as it can be a way for the younger generation to deepen their understanding on invasive species, and also give them a reason to go outside and experience nature. Clearing that area also allows tree or natural plants to grow in that area without worry or competition with other plants.”

– Steven

“I enjoyed the sense of community and the positive spirit of everyone. I feel this program increases awareness, sense of doing something tangible for change and actually decreasing the invasive plants in the area. Thanks for your efforts and for getting so many people involved.”

– Susan

“Everyone was really great and friendly. I think it helps with a sense of community. In and of itself cleaning up parks is a community based activity. This is my first time with the lower mainland green team but when I’ve done it with other organizations I’ve discovered parks I never new about (or that I never knew the public was allowed in) and you feel like you’re contributing to your community. But I also think the way the lower mainland green team is run also helps foster connection. Like the snack break and how you get a chance to really talk to your fellow volunteers as well as how welcoming the staff are. I would think that the increased connection would also amplify the effects of these programs on pro-environmental behaviour as well.”

– Tarrah

In-Action Photos

Our Staff

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager, Ashton Kerr (second from left) and Program Coordinators, Megan Walker (left) and Reenaz Nawar (right), with a special appearance and support from our founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian (second from right).

Megan, a first year university student from Coquitlam, and Reenaz, a grade 11 student from Port Moody, have been hired as part of Green Teams of Canada‘s Youth Leadership Program. They are gaining hands-on experience organizing and leading communities, and are also helping strengthen and build our organization!

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