Invasive Species Removal at Reay Creek Park, North Saanich, September 11 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 18 community members at Reay Creek Park!!

We primarily removed Himalayan Blackberry and Canada Thistle. These invasive species have been growing and spreading through the park extremely quickly. Both blackberry and thistle can produce a lot of seeds, which allows them to rapidly overtake the natural ecosystem. A single Canada Thistle plant can produce 1 500 seeds, so a whole group of them can send out a lot of seeds really, really fast! Similarly, one square metre of blackberry thicket can produce anywhere from 7 000 to 13 000 seeds! It’s no wonder these plants have been able to outgrow many of the native species in the park. By clearing out these invasive species, we give the natural ecosystem a better chance to compete and come back into balance.


Thank-you to everyone for participating: Darren, Valerie, Mark, Joe, Amy, Tara, Channing, Shyanna, Jason, Pat, Ty, Erin, Ramisa, Nisa, Tyson, Mary, Robin & Elizabeth!

Thank-you to the Eaglehurst Residents Association for spreading the word about this activity to neighbours of the park!

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

Group Photo!


  • In total 18 community members participated and contributed to 56 volunteer hours!
  • 8 volunteers were introduced to Reay Creek Park, while 7 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 10 cubic metres of invasive plants and revitalized about 300 square metres of habitat!
  • Several record-breaking blackberry crows were unearthed!

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

“Seeing how much we removed, and how much was growing back since the previous group. the parks don’t seem like they’d be as nice with all the overgrowth!” – Jason

Digging up blackberry takes teamwork!

Action Shots

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Green Room Body Co, Lush, & Nature Bee Clean!

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