Invasive Species Removal at Lagoon West Park (Pit House Park), Colwood, June 15 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 100 youth and community members from Dunsmuir Middle School in an area covered with Scotch Broom and Blackberry.

We primarily removed Himalayan Blackberry, with Scotch Broom removed as well. This area is home to a large heritage orchard and close to the beautiful Esquimalt Lagoon. According to a study done for the Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative, non-native species in the area amount to 35% of all the vegetation, although it has likely increased since that study had been released. Both Himalayan Blackberry and Scotch Broom replace native species and decrease biodiversity, putting the health of these habitats at risk. Nootka Rose was the most predominant native species in the area.


Thank-you to everyone for participating: Ms. Weir’s Gr. 6 class, Ms. Blow’s Gr. 6 class, Mr. Vavala’s Gr. 7 class and Ms. Turnbull’s Gr. 6 class, all the parent volunteers and Camila!

Thank-you very much to the City of Colwood for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!


  • In total 91 youth, 4 teachers, 4 parent volunteers and 1 community member participated and contributed to 126 volunteer hours!
  • All youth, teachers and volunteers were introduced to Lagoon West Park, while 98 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 45 cubic metres of invasive plants!

Before and After Photos

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

Volunteer Testimonials

“My students definitely enjoyed the competitive-nature of our experience (one class versus another class to see who could remove more in a given amount of time). My students also very much enjoyed the snacks provided at the end and some of them felt a sense of accomplishment.”

“I enjoyed watching the children working and playing in their community. I loved listening to their conversations”

Katia helps a student take out a huge blackberry root crown!

Action Shots

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