On Wednesday June 9th, 2021 the Lower Mainland Green Team and the City of White Rock partnered up to remove invasive species from Ruth Johnson Park in White Rock. The sun was shining for two classes from Earl Marriott Secondary School to walk from their school to participate in this activity. Our work focused on removing Small-flowered Touch-me-not (a relative of Policeman’s Helmet) and Himalayan Blackberry, two invasive species that were dominant in this area of the park where we had previously planted trees in 2019. The students did an excellent job of tackling this species while being careful to protect native species. We were very impressed by their ability to identify the differences between native Trailing Blackberry and invasive Himalayan Blackberry!
Prior to starting our work, we found a small bird’s nest in an invasive blackberry bush which was home to some very hungry babies! This nest was uniquely shaped and demonstrated how Himalayan Blackberry is not all bad (although the negatives tend to outweigh the positives). We cordoned off this area and made sure to stay clear of it, except to quietly observe the nest from a distance.
It was amazing to see all of the students engaged in teamwork to improve the biodiversity of this area and their own wellbeing, as being out in nature has countless benefits! We hope you all had a good time and will join us the next time we are in the area! Following the current COVID-19 restrictions, this activity had two sessions engaging youth and implemented the safety measures outlined in our COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Thank you to Mr. Roberts’ and Ms. Knapp’s classes for coming out to get some hands-on outdoor education in the community: Hong, Jackson, Adam, Luca, Dorcas, Evan, Evelyn, Reesha, Alora, Olivia, Hartley, Siwen, Aashka, Ava, Yanxi, Efe, Sakura, Alaska, Elden, Jordan, Diya, Neele, Robyn, Sophie, Kate, Devin, Maria, Devin, Asha, Lauren, Shamia and two more students who forgot to sign in, but removed an outstanding amount of blackberry!
A huge thank you to Egan Davis, the City of White Rock’s Manager of Parks, for being our wonderful partner for this activity. We are proud to work with the City to improve ecosystem and community health in the White Rock area and look forward to our future activities!
- In total 33 LMGT volunteers participated and contributed 55.5 hours total
- About 2.8 cubic metres (~17 bathtubs!) of Small-flowered Touch-me-not and Himalayan Blackberry was removed
- 22 volunteers visited Ruth Johnson Park for the first time
- 30 volunteers removed invasive species for the first time
- We rescued some of the native trees we planted in 2019 from being overtaken by blackberry
- A small bird’s nest was found and protected while we worked (picture above!)
- We were featured in the Peace Arch News and Surrey-Now Leader! Read the article HERE and on page A26 of the June 17, 2021 paper HERE. Lois Smith also wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of Peace Arch News about us, read it on page A7 of the June 24, 2021 paper HERE!