Invasive Species Removal with Wishart Elementary School in Sue Mar Park, Colwood- November 22, 2023
Group photo of Ms. Brown’s class and Ms. Hamilton’s class who joined us for the second session of this activity!
Highlights From The Day
- 81 enthusiastic students, 4 teachers, and 2 education assistants joined us and contributed about 117 volunteer hours!
- Thank you to everyone for participating: Ms. Bevan’s grade 3 class and Ms. Walkey’s grade 2 classes and Ms. Brown’s and Ms. Hamilton’s grade 4 classes!
- Together our team:
- Removed a volume of 3.2 cubic metres (approximately 19 bathtubs full) of invasive plant material!
- Revitalized about 305 square metres of the park!
- Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!
- Students from Wishart Elementary School have been able to frequently visit this park that neighbours their school. They will be able to check on the park often to see the impact of their efforts! Some of the participating classes took part in the restoration of this park last year and returned with knowledge, skills, and determination to continue the invasive plant removal process!
- Our Community Investment Partner, the City of Colwood, provided direction and funding to make this activity possible!
Before & After Photos
Why Do We Do This Work?
The Greater Victoria Green Team organizes hands-on educational activities that have a positive environmental impact to empower people. Through activities such as invasive plant removals, plantings, litter cleanups and more, we are fostering connections with others and nature so that health and well-being is prioritized, lifelong environmental stewardship is promoted, and community members are enabled to take care of themselves, each other and the places they live. We all have the power to make a difference!
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
Partner For This Activity
Thank you for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration! Together we are restoring habitat and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship!
Youth In Action!
Longest Ivy Strand Competition!
The students took turns working together to measure their ivy strands to see who could pull out the longest strand! This was a fun way to encourage friendly competition and teamwork while also implementing good restoration practices! When we pull longer strands of ivy we are more effective at removing more of the plant from the ground all at once. The students needed to work together to pull long, tough strands that were buried in shallow dirt. They were able to untangle long strands by spreading out and communicating to find where the strands connected.
Learning from Nature
Students made many observations, using all of their senses to explore the forest! We checked out a variety of fungi growing in the understory. Students identified and saved a worm, putting it back into the dirt where it would not be disturbed when it was unearthed alongside the ivy. We also observed nearby wildlife, seeing and hearing birds and squirrels in the park.
Funky Forest Finds
One of the most bizarre finds of the day was a real, whole coconut! We are not sure where it came from or why it was there but the students were delighted to find something so out of place and take it back to school with them!
We also found lots of garbage including glass bottles, cans, and various pieces of plastic which we removed from the forest to help contribute to the improvement of ecosystem health!
What Students Said:
”This is my favourite thing that I do all year!”grade 4 student
”This is actually really fun!”grade 2 student
”I love this!”grade 4 student
”The kids really enjoyed the activity yesterday, they were still talking about it today!”Ms. Bevan
This activity was run by our Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren (pictured here with our mascot, Cami)
Kaitlin was hired as part of the Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing!