MacLean Park, Pitt Meadows – May 28, 2022
- 33 community members participated and contributed 109 hours total
- Thank you so much for your incredible work: Abdurrahman, Amos, Angela L., Angela B., Ashley, Ben, Brian, Cailyn, Caleigh, Chloe, Colin, Daniel, Diana, Don, Gina, Harry, Heath, Hoi Ning (Helin), Hui Chong, Indrajeet, Iryna, Josie, Katie, Kirk, Kyle, Louise, Michelle, Nicholas, Pavel, Sylvie, Tin Yau (Tiann), Tracy and Vladimir!
- 8.5 cubic metres of invasive Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and Common periwinkle was removed (equivalent to the volume of about 53 bathtubs), including many stubborn, blackberry roots! Be sure to check out the before and after photos at the bottom of the page!
- An area of 270 square metres had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized
- 27 participants visited MacLean Park for the first time
- 17 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
- This was our very first activity with the City of Pitt Meadows!
- Don MacLean, the former Pitt Meadows Mayor who this park is named after, joined us to restore this natural area
- This activity was featured in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News TWICE! Read the first article (before the activity) HERE and the second article (after the activity) HERE!
33 amazing community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us at this activity for a day of community building and habitat restoration. Together they removed an incredible amount of invasive plants that were growing in the area, as shown by the shocking before and after photos at the bottom of this blog!
Invasive plants overtake and crowd out native plants, reducing biodiversity and ecosystem resilience (which is especially important as we face climate change). By removing these invasive plants, we are freeing up space for native plants to grow and thrive, which will improve the health and the function of this natural area for all living beings!
Don MacLean, the former Mayor of Pitt Meadows who this park is named after, joined us to revitalize the area!
We found and removed a number of things that don’t belong in our ecosystems, including scrap metal and a car battery.
Juicy watermelon and yummy snacks were enjoyed by all!
Our Green Team just hired two Program Coordinators, Reenaz (left) and Megan (right) as part of our charity’s brand new Youth Leadership Program. This was their very first day!
Reenaz and Megan will be learning how to become community organizers and will be assisting in running Lower Mainland Green Team activities for the next year, in addition to supporting the growth of our organization.
Welcome Reenaz and Megan, we are so excited to have you join our team!
Local resident Diana who visits the park often was thrilled to see our Green Team removing invasive plants and taking care of the area. She was not the only one, as many passersby expressed their support of our work and thanked our community for their hard work!
This natural area wasn’t the only one to benefit from our efforts, as community members themselves had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity to work together in this beautiful outdoor setting. There are many benefits to being in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, physical exercise and fresh air, improved memory, focus and mental clarity. Additionally, through this experience we are helping the community connect to and cultivate a deeper respect for nature, which helps instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities!
Our community members took home a gift from one of our in-kind supporters including Coconut Lip Balm from Green Beaver, Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags from EarthRated, Swedish Dish Cloths from Swedethings, Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate from Camino, Tealight Candles from Honey Candles, and West Coast Seeds! 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 Ashton Kerr, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org!
What Volunteers Said
“This program fosters a sense of community and welcomes people of all backgrounds to collaborate on a shared goal. It also enhances environmental awareness while giving people the chance to get some physical activity in!”– Josie
“It was really great to be outside (especially in such nice weather) helping the environment and the community! I liked how large the age range was and how everyone connected despite or because of it.
This program betters the environment and improves people’s appreciation of it. By removing invasive species from parks, visitors can have access to parts of the park they did not before. As well, if they see the Green Team cleaning up, they often stop to ask about the cleanup, piquing their interest in environmental conservation and perhaps encouraging them to get involved as well. The program also strengthens the community in this way. People come together and work hard to improve their surroundings and connect because of it.”– Gina
“There was an obvious difference before and after the activity. A lot of invasive plants were removed by the volunteers which made space for native species to grow and flourish.”– Louise
“There’s something so therapeutic about working in nature that I love. It was an amazing opportunity to get out to do something for the community as well. Over all a great day with kind, welcoming people!
I feel this program benefits the community and the individual equally, nature is one of the best medicines and being able to work outside for a good cause has so many positive effects on physical and mental health. Removing invasive species from the local environment allows for healthier ecosystems in our parks.”– Caleigh
“Great people and such a great experience!! So well organized and friendly it was crazy! My daughter and I will most definitely do this again and are privileged to consider ourselves part of “The Green Team”!
I felt like in the world we live in now, it felt so damn good to be with people that just want to do some good. It was selfless work that isn’t selfless because we all need to try to save this planet. I could not have spent a Saturday morning in a better way!!”– Tracy
“Well organized, positive energy, welcoming atmosphere. Impacts include environmental conservation and stewardship, community building and upkeep”– Nicholas
“Loved the social and welcoming environment! It’s so nice to do things like this in my own neighbourhood. I love seeing the before and after, and feeling like I had a noticeable impact on a park.”– Michelle
“It was really well organized and well supervised. It was wonderful being with so many young people that care about and are will to actively participate in improving the environment. We had fun talking to the “kids”, we are in our 70’s, and learning about how they feel about climate change and about all the courses that are available now in environmental sciences. It will surely make a difference to our future.”– Diana
“Amazing positive energy! Plenty of equipment for everyone, and organizers were happy to educate all volunteers. I’d like to see a second visit to the same location within a month or two to ensure eradication of invasives, and plant natives (in the fall).
The impact is community education and empowerment, and improvement of our community spaces and wildlife habitat.”– Katie
“Being able to connect with other people made the experience very enjoyable. Since there were many other attendees at the event, it was easier to find people to work together with. The atmosphere never felt dark and lonely despite us working in the secluded bush. I was very impressed with the snack and gift offerings. Ashton, the group leader, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and organized, which also made a huge difference.
The sign-up webpage, snack-and-gift offerings, and local business washroom availability all contribute to a sense of legitimacy and organization behind the program, which I am sure is why so many people are willing to attend. Seeing the sheer number of people who attend Green Teams events stirs a greater sense of community and creates a stronger feeling of standing behind a common cause”– Amos
Thank you to everyone who helped pack up all of our tools and supplies after the activity, this was a HUGE help and SO appreciated!
A big thank you to Olivia Huppee and Diane Chamberlain at the City of Pitt Meadows for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, to make this activity possible. Thanks to the City’s direction and financial support, we are empowering communities to take care of each other and the environment – a win for all! This was our very first activity with the City of Pitt Meadows and we can’t wait to run more after this incredible day!
Thank you also to Lyda Salatian, who founded our Green Team in 2011 and charity in 2013 and is currently our Executive Director, for coming out to support this activity and train our new Program Coordinators!