Invasive Ivy Removal in Honour of Zara Blue – Bowker Creek Headwaters, UVic

Thank you so much Greater Victoria Green Team participants for your hard work and enthusiasm:

Aarov, Alanna, Angele, Atsumi, Blair, Blythe, Chika, Edison, Emerson, Eric, Evan, Evan, Francine, Gus, Halle, India, Jane, Justine, Kelly, Kelly, Kerri, Kiersten, Lyla, Mike, Nutdanai, Poppy, Seth, Scott, Shona, Stephanie, Tracy, and  Trina!

What a beautiful day we had connecting people to one another and nature, all while restoring habitat in honour of Zara Blue! Keep on reading to find impacts, highlights and more from the day…


  • 40 community members engaged
  • 123 hours contributed to habitat restoration
  • 10 people removed invasive English ivy, for the first time
  • 1 person visited this area for the first time, while many were returning to this beautiful forest 
  • 7 cubic metres (about 44 bathtubs full) of ivy removed
  • 110 square metres of habitat revitalized
  • 10 trees saved from being strangled by invasive ivy


This activity took place in honour of Campus View Elementary School teacher Zara Blue. Through collaboration between the local community this activity was run to celebrate the wonderful dedication Zara had to education and habitat restoration. We were able to remove ivy from the spaces where Zara and her students had planted native species to encourage them to survive and thrive in this area. 

  • We tied blue ribbons to our wrists and held them up to float in the wind. Waving Zara’s favourite colour and recognizing her impact in this community was another way to honour her. 
  • We heard from Zara’s family, friends, students, and colleagues about the ways Zara facilitated life-long learning and care for the environment.
  • Zara’s family brought photos of her and art prints that Zara had created to share with the community. Thank you so much for sharing these!
  • It was a beautiful summer day with sun, cloud, and a cooling breeze: a wonderful day to spend outside together with a supportive community 
  • Community members enjoyed the homemade brownies, watermelon, veggies, and iced tea to help cool off, and the granola bars to help keep energy levels up through the physical exercise of pulling ivy! 
  • Atsumi, Trina, Jane, Lyla, Edison, and Chika stayed to help with pack up: thank you so much! 
  • Community members enjoyed the additional education provided by the plant signs, learning about identification in a fun, creative way!
  • The Alumni Chip Trail connects to a cycling path created by UVic, connecting the outskirts of campus to a network of paths inside Ring Road. This new section also features Indigenous art visually seen on the path at night underneath lampposts!
  • All ages, backgrounds, and experience levels were engaged including  UVic students, Campus View Elementary students, nearby residents, newcomers to Victoria, returning Green Team members, and first-timers!

Community Investment Partner

A huge THANK YOU to the Department of Campus Planning and Sustainability at the University of Victoria for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and making this activity possible with their financial support and direction!

Together we are achieving our common goals and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship.

In-Kind Support

Thank you to the fantastic Canadian eco-friendly businesses Green Beaver, If You Care, and Honey Candles that donated In-kind products for our hard-working community members to take home!

Please contact Kaitlin Warren. if you are interested in providing in-kind.

Why We Do This Work

The Greater Victoria 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!

Staff Who Made This Activity Possible

Kaitlin (left), Severine (right)

Greater Victoria Green Team Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren and Program Coordinator, Severine Tyszewicz, work hard behind the scenes to bring these high-quality activities to you.

Partnership building, outreach, social media, activity logistics, leading on-the-ground, reporting on impacts and more – they can do it all!

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