Native Species Planting & Invasive Species Removal at Ocean View Park, Colwood, April 23, 2023

Native Species Planting & Invasive Species Removal at Ocean View Park, Colwood, April 23, 2023

Group photo of the amazing community members who joined us for this activity!


  • 40 community members of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 125 volunteer hours total
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and for making this day amazing: Travis, Marianne, Jordan, Gary, Naohiro, Tsuyoshi, Rob, Diana, Becca, Audrey, Joey, Meaghan, Dallin, Mason, Carter, Aaron, Shreena, Alex, Erina, Yoshiki, Suzuka, Sofia, Cianna, Layanna, Hyoseon, Nanami, Deanna, Stuart, Kaito, Maya, Leia, Kaia, and Amber & the SMUS students!
  • 12 cubic metres of invasive species removed!
    • Species removed included English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, English holly, and daphne!
  • 200 native trees and shrubs planted!
    • Species planted included Douglas-fir and big leaf maple trees, along with sword fern, salal, red flowering currant, salmonberry, and oceanspray!
  • An area of 300 metres squared had invasive plants removed from it and was revitalized thanks to the hard work of our Green Team
  • 27 participants visited Ocean View Park for the first time
  • 16 participants removed invasive plants for the first time
  • 24 participants planted native species for the first time
  • This activity was featured on CHEK’s evening newscast! Click HERE to watch our amazing Green Team Community in action – scroll through their past newscasts to “5 pm April 23, 2023”, we are about 6 minutes in!

Thank you to the City of Colwood for partnering with us! Their support made this activity possible. We appreciate their commitment to empowering their community to take on environmental stewardship!

Before & After Photos

On Sunday, April 23 2023, the Greater Victoria Green Team and the City of Colwood wrapped up Earth Week with a fifth visit to Ocean View Park for planting! 40 community members joined us for this fantastic activity, which was the culmination of nearly a year of hard work! After removing invasive species from essentially the entire park over the past several sessions, we were finally ready to re-plant the areas we cleared previously.

Everyone put in a lot of hard work on Sunday to plant 200 native trees and shrubs! We also removed 12 cubic metres of invasive species from the park, representing some of the last remaining invasive species growing there.

Tsuyoshi, Travis, and Joey with one of our big leaf maple trees!

We pulled some pretty big English holly trees out of the forest to clear space for future native species to return!

By learning about environmental issues such as those caused by invasive species in a hands-on way, communities are better equipped to tackle such problems. Additionally, our community members met new people, gained new skills and were able to experience the benefits of being out in nature including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and improved moody, memory, focus and mental clarity. Not to mention the great physical exercise everyone got while restoring the area! By connecting people to nature, we help instil responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities.

Volunteer Testimonials

“I enjoyed getting the group (community) together and making Ocean View Park look better than when we started. Great to see the impact the GVGT has made on this park! So glad the GVGT and the City of Colwood have partnered to make area parks more attractive and enjoyable!”

– Gary

“I enjoyed the feeling of giving back to the community, as well as learning more about a few plants I had only briefly heard of previously. This program contributes to a healthy, sustainable environment and greenspaces for everyone to enjoy. It garners a sense of connection, not only between the volunteers on the site but also the park users and the scientific organizations and even the sponsors helping the event come to fruition! It helps volunteers and by-passers in the park or people who hear about it through word of mouth or news to be aware of the impacts of invasive species and how important a balance of native plants is to the whole local ecosystem! It helps me personally because it’s a renewal of my own spiritual connections to nature and the people and creatures I share this world with. Also good exercise!”

– Kaia

“It’s good to involve the community in environmental stewardship, because if people feel included then they will care more about the environment generally.”

– Travis

“I enjoyed every moment”


A Note From The Mayor…

“On behalf of Council and the City of Colwood, I would like to express my sincere appreciation  for the hard work and dedication of the Greater Victoria Green Team at Ocean View Park.  Your team’s environmental stewardship of our community is simply phenomenal.   It is amazing that you were able to plant 200 native trees and shrubs while still removing 12 cubic metres of invasive species.   Bravo Zulu Greater Victoria Green Team!”

-Doug Kobayashi

Community in Action!

Click the arrows on the photo below to see more of our favourite moments from the day!


Thank you to Gathering Place, EarthRated, TruEarth, Lush & OLA Bamboo for donating eco-gifts 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 interim Program Manager Kaitlin Warren at

This activity was organized by the Greater Victoria Green Team‘s interim Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren and Program Coordinator, Maria Varem.

Maria and Kaitlin were hired through Green Teams of Canada’s Youth Leadership Program. We are hiring a new Youth Leader for 2023! Visit GTC’s website for more information.

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