On Thursday, August 5th the Greater Victoria Green Team partnered with the University of Victoria to have an activity at Cunningham Woods. In the past several years we have been doing activities in Mystic Vale, so it was fun to gather together at another spot on campus! We were removing invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and holly to prepare the site for native tree planting in the near future. We had a diverse group including many experienced volunteers and many new faces, and a wide age range from 12 years of age to retired folks! We also had some international volunteers from Germany and China, and a group that came out from the HMCS Malahat Naval Reserve here in Victoria. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and not only did we have a lot of fun connecting with each other safely in nature, we accomplished so much together! We are looking forward to returning to this site on August 29th, 2021, to continue our environmental stewardship and community engagement work.
Thank you to the Sustainability Office at the University of Victoria for recognizing the value of community engagement and for partnering with us in this important work.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers for coming out and bringing great energy: Chloe, Natalie, Daniel, Denise, Will, Clarisse, David, Kai, Daniel, Una, Joshua, Adam, Anika, Arianna, Brian, Sarah, Nelson, Lennox, Eric, Dianne, and Samira!
We would also like to thank our generous in-kind sponsors for providing eco-gifts to our community members! We love introducing our volunteers to environmentally and socially conscious businesses – especially local! Everyone was very excited to take home one of our many eco-gift choices. We had fair-trade organic chocolate from Camino, natural toothpaste tablets from Nelson Naturals, reusable straws from West Coast Refill, dog poo bag dispensers from Earth Rated, and fruit, vegetable, and wildflower seeds from Metchosin Farms and Saanich Native Plants!
And thank you to Betty from The Martlet, The University of Victoria’s Independent Newspaper, for coming to write about our activity! We appreciate you spreading the word about what we do!
A photo album from the day can be found HERE!
- 23 community members contributed 56.5 volunteer hours!
- We removed 6 cubic metres of invasive plants
- 18 were introduced to Cunningham Woods
- 7 removed invasive plants for the first time
- Community members reported feeling welcomed and appreciated, and having lots of fun!
- A writer from The Martlet, UVic’s Independent Newspaper, came to learn more about our organization and interviewed the Program Manager and long-time volunteer, Kai!
What Our Volunteers Said
- “I feel I (and my family) are making a contribution to helping the earth by removing invasive plant species in order for the native species to have a chance to survive. We are also helping the trees, which would otherwise be overgrown and outcompeted by the invasive plants (English Ivy, Daphne laureola, etc.) and the trees are important for removing carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) and producing oxygen, providing shade, providing animal habitat and alleviating climate change.” – Denise
- “That was so much fun, I can’t wait for the next one!” – Daniel
- I enjoyed “Working together at my own pace on helping to restore the land. It was nice to share a break together and that some food was provided. I also appreciated the variety of tools.” – Natalie
Before and After
Here is one of the areas we worked on. In the forest behind this patch we were removing English ivy from underneath the native shrubs.