On Saturday, July 3rd, our community members were in Pit House Park in Colwood! We were removing invasive Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom to help with ongoing efforts to restore the park. Both of these plants reproduce prolifically and can outcompete native plants, reducing local biodiversity. Himalayan blackberry can produce 8,000 seeds per square metre, and Scotch broom can produce 30,000 seeds per plant. The seeds can live up to 30 years in the seed bank! We were focussed around the heritage apple orchard and made a serious dent in these two invasive populations with the dedicated work of our community member volunteers.
There were local volunteers that walked over from home, and there were volunteers from other municipalities that joined in! We had many first time volunteers and many of our long time volunteers came as well. Our mission is to connect, build and empower diverse communities through hands-on activities that promote health, well-being and environmental stewardship, and we certainly did that on Saturday! It was a fantastic, sunny day by the sea and many new connections were made.
Thank you to our volunteers for their hard work, laughter, and great conversation: Alan, Robert, Jeannette, Michael, Judith, Leslie, Remi, Kaia, Amy, Carol, Iris, Terry, Sara, Kris, Michelle, Bruce, Rachel, Bowen, Max, Richard, Mieka, Rosanna, Riley, Annemarie, Chloe, Hristina, Samantha, Taylor, and Tyson.
Thank you to the City of Colwood for continuing to support our community engagement work and giving us the opportunity to help restore beautiful Pit House Park. Thanks to Gord Beauvillier, the Foreman of Parks, for setting us up to do our activity here!
A photo album from the day can be found HERE!
- 29 community members contributed 77.5 volunteer hours!
- A whopping 20 cubic metres of invasive plants were removed!
- Our youngest volunteer was two years old 🙂
- 17 community members were introduced to Pit House Park
- Chloe was recognized for her dedication and received her yellow t-shirt which signifies that she’s volunteered over 5 times (7, actually!)
- Darren from Times Colonist came to highlight the awesome work of our volunteers
- Colwood City Councillor Michael Baxter came to participate with the community!
- Volunteers reported feeling welcomed and appreciated, and left feeling accomplished
- Thank you to our in-kind sponsor Royal Bay Bakery who donated delicious cinnamon danishes to nourish our volunteers
What community members said:
“I always enjoy chatting with other volunteers and staff and just the feeling of accomplishment in contributing to my community. I enjoy the physical work and being in the natural environment. And, I had a swim in the ocean nearby right afterwards! Great location with birds all around 🙂…Passersby seemed interested in what we were doing and were thankful for our work. It helps us all be connected overall and to have an appreciation for our natural environment.” – Sara
This event had “A great impact on education in invasive species removal.” – Leslie
The impact is “Community strength in achieving progress towards a more sustainable environment.” – Carol