Invasive Species Removal at Burnside-Watkiss Park, View Royal, January 21, 2023!

Invasive Species Removal at Burnside-Watkiss Park, View Royal, January 21, 2023!


The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 27 community members from all over the Greater Victoria region to remove invasive Daphne, Himalayan Blackberry, and English Ivy at Burnside-Watkiss Park!


Group Photo!



  • In total 27 community members participated and contributed to more than 94 volunteer hours!
  • We removed 9 cubic metres of invasive plants (equivalent to the volume of 56 bathtubs!) and revitalized about 300 square metres of the park!
  • We removed about 10 pounds of garbage!
  • 15 community members were introduced to this park location for the very first time!
  • 7 people learned about and removed invasive plants for the very first time!



Thank you to everyone for participating: Susan, Marika, Joan, Joyce, Marianne, Rhianedd, Angeli, Devin, Becca, Erina, Nuria, Rania, Hamnah, Caitlin, Marta, Gareth, Tristan, Nancy, Ciara, Kiersten, Elizabeth, Robbie, Shambu, Claire, Blake & Oliver!

Thank-you very much to the Town of View Royal for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration! Thank you as well to Chris from View Royal for helping facilitate!


We found some funky roots throughout the day!

We discovered many items in the park that did not belong, including golf balls, bottles and cans, garbage, and old pieces of farm equipment. These remnants of the park’s history made the day even more interesting. We hauled about 10 pounds of garbage out of the park and filled 1 large recycling bag.




Invasive species have been crowding and shading out the native understory and threatening the trees growing in this beautiful Garry Oak forest. This unique park has many incredible oak trees and is one of few remaining Garry Oak ecosystems in the region. The View Royal Parks Habitat Restoration volunteer group has been working in this park for many years and have succeeded in removing many invasive species from a large portion of this park. We joined forces to continue this important work and increase the area that is primarily inhabited by native plants. The invasive Daphne, Himalayan Blackberry, and English Ivy replace native species and decrease biodiversity, putting the health of these habitats at risk. By removing the invasive plants and planting more native shrubs and trees, we are helping contribute to the protection of this park and improving its resilience. While we were working to remove the invasive plants from this area, we had the opportunity to check on some of the native plants that we planted here in November. Some of the plants we added to this park included Grand Fir and Mock Orange. The plants are doing well, and are continuing to grow thanks to the removal of the invasive plants around them!


Before… and After!

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
  • Have improved mental and physical health
  • Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
  • Learn the value of bringing together people to work towards a common goal
  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance

Restoration In Action!

Our set up, with our mascot, Cami, ready to welcome all our hard-working community members to the park and ready them for invasive plant removal!
9 cubic meters of invasive plants removed! Plus some pieces of old farm equipment pulled out to help with the revitalisation of the forest!

What Participants are Saying

“I feel the impact of this program is to protect the environment so that years from now everyone would still get to enjoy the beauty of it as much as we do”


“I enjoyed getting outside and doing some useful work, raising awareness and direct action to help local ecosystems


“I was glad to be one of members who protected nature! I thought it was really nice that so many people met and worked together. Thank you for offering this awesome opportunity!”



Thank you to these fantastic local eco-friendly businesses: Elate Cosmetics, Nature Bee Clean, Tru Earth, LUSH, and Gathering Place Trading Company that have donated In-kind products for our hard-working community members to take home!


This Activity was run by our Program Manager, Kaitlin, who was hired as part of the Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing!

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