Invasive Species Removal at Uplands Park in Oak Bay, June 10, 2023!

Invasive Species Removal at Uplands Park in Oak Bay, June 10, 2023!

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 18 community members from all over the Greater Victoria region to remove invasive English ivy, daphne laurel, and cleavers in the District of Oak Bay’s Uplands Park! We also removed woody debris from the forest floor to help mitigate the risk of forest fires through the dry summer season. The Friends of Uplands Park have been working on removing invasive plants from this park for many years, involving community members in the process. Collaborating with the Friends of Uplands Park Society, we learned about the history of restoration work in the park and helped contribute to this big project! Ecological restoration is a team effort that provides many wonderful opportunities for community engagement.

Group Photo!


  • In total 18 community members participated and contributed a total of 57 volunteer hours!
  • We removed 11 cubic metres of invasive plants and revitalized 131 square metres of the forest!
  • 7 community members were introduced to this location for the very first time!
  • 1 community member learned about and removed invasive plants for the very first time!
  • This activity took place during Make A Difference Week, a part of the Vancouver Island Decade on Ecosystem Restoration initiative


Thank you to everyone for participating: Olmo, Rob, Chiming, Evelyn, Sarah, Kiersten, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Wayne, Hyoseon, Aeron, Airrow, Best, Alden, Jordan, and Marianne!

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

Thank you to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for supporting us through their grant!

Invasive species like English Ivy, cleavers, and daphne laurel have been crowding and shading out the native understory and threatening the trees growing in this park. Ivy can smother trees by competing with them for nutrients and light, which makes the trees weaker and more susceptible to fall. The Friends of Uplands Park and The District of Oak Bay have been working on removing invasive plants and replanting native plants in the park for years, and it is incredible to see the difference that the work has made over time. Native species like June plum, Trailing Blackberry, Indigenous rose, and honey suckle are growing back in areas that used to be covered in ivy.

Equally inspiring is seeing just how many people come out to tackle invasive species in this forest! Community members of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds came together on Saturday to connect with each other and with nature. It is truly amazing to see so many people working together towards a goal, all while having fun and making new friends!

We learned about the restoration efforts of the Friends of Uplands Park Society from Margaret with a site tour before the work party!

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

Community In Action!

What Participants are Saying…

“I enjoyed removing invasive plants from Uplands Park. I also enjoyed hearing about all the rare plants that live there. I was happy to see some Indian pipe which I hadn’t seen since I was a child.”


Thank you to the fantastic local eco-friendly businesses West Coast Refill, Gathering Place Trading, Sirene Chocolate, Elate Cosmetics, and Tru Earth that donated In-kind products for our hard-working community members to take home!

Our community members took home a thank you gift from one of our in-kind supporters! If you have any suggestions for sustainable/eco-friendly rewards, know of or own a business who would like to provide in-kind to our Green Team, please contact Kaitlin at

This Activity was run by our Program Manager, Kaitlin, and our Program Coordinator, Severine!

Severine was hired as part of the Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing!

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