Invasive Species Removal at UVic Mystic Vale, Saanich, May 13 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team spent the day engaging 45 students and faculty from the UVic Biology Department. We primarily removed English Ivy, with some Holly and Daphne removed as well. The invasive species have been crowding and shading out the native understory and threatens the trees growing in this beautiful forest! English Ivy can grow up to 9 feet in a year, and can grow up to 40 ft vertically on a tree or building! The plant spreads by propagation, so if a stem fragment finds soil, a new section of ivy can grow. Seeds are also spread by seeds by birds! By removing the invasive plants, we are helping the native vegetation regenerate. Some of the native species we saw in the area were Oregon Grape, Trailing Blackberry and Snowberry!


Thank-you to the University of Victoria Biology Department for participating and wanting to engage in connection between students and faculty!

Thank-you very much to UVic Sustainability and Campus Planning Office 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 45 students and faculty participated and contributed to 113 volunteer hours!
  • We removed 13 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • We heard Barred Owls calling throughout the activity!

Volunteer Testimonials

“It gives people a greater sense of stewardship of the land. It also formed and strengthened relationships among colleagues, which is something that suffered during Covid when many people didn’t see each other in person for months or years.” – Jennie

“The joy of participating was palpable. The program reinforces the idea that restoration is community-based effort and benefits everyone.” – Patrick

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

Action Shots

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