World Rivers Day Invasive Plant Removal at the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby – September 24, 2023

World Rivers Day Invasive Plant Removal at the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby – September 24, 2023

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

Highlights From The Day

  • 51 wonderful community members of diverse ages, backgrounds and experience levels joined us and contributed 141 hours total!
    • Thank you so much for your hard work and enthusiasm: Abigail, Adrienne, Aileen, Alixander, Amy, Andrew, Athena, Brad, Calvin, Daniel, Emily, Finn, Gary, Grant, Grey, Han, Hand, Hayden, Holden, Hong, Ian, Jamie, Jan, Jeff, Jennifer, Jia Yi, John, Julia, Kevin H., Kevin Z., Lana, Laura, Leo, Liana, Liyuan, Logan, Lucas, Megan, Mumtaz, Nicholas, Niko, Noah, Ryan, Sheldon, Sophia, Stone, Sue, Suzie, Tyson, Yanan and Yinghao!
      • Thank you to the 6th Centre Lake Burnaby Cub Scouts for joining us!
      • Thank you to everyone who helped carry tools and pack up our van after this activity, many hands make for light work!
      • Thank you Suzie, Jan and Gary for your leadership and extra help with packing up, this wouldn’t have gone as smooth as it did without you!
    • 16 people visited the Burnaby Village Museum for the first time
    • 31 people removed invasive plants for the first time

  • Together our team:
    • Removed a volume of 8 cubic metres (50 bathtubs full) of invasive English ivy and Himalayan blackberry, including many stubborn blackberry roots which require more effort to remove, but take up less volume
    • Removed invasive plants from an area of 205 metres squared
  • Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!

  • Mark Angelo, the founder of World Rivers Day, was at this celebration and expressed his gratitude for our team’s work!

Before & After Photos

Photos of the bin we filled with invasive ivy and blackberry!

World Rivers Day

The very first BC Rivers Day was celebrated in 1980 and has been an annual celebration of our waterways on the 4th Sunday of September ever since. Started by Burnaby resident and internationally renowned river conservationist, Mark Angelo, this celebration hit the international stage as World Rivers Day in 2005. 

Mark Angelo (right) was at the City of Burnaby’s World Rivers Day celebration and expressed his gratitude for the work of our team. Here he is with our wonderful community members!

Our waterways and freshwater ecosystems are extremely important, yet are among the most at risk ecosystems on the planet. Threatened by urbanization, pollution, industrial development, invasive species, damming, excessive water extraction and climate change, now more than ever we need to raise awareness about the importance of our waterways and take action to protect them. Rivers are part of all of our lives and it is up to each of us to do our part to support them.

What can you do to support local streams and rivers? Lots!

  • Learn about your local river, the wildlife and plants that live in or around it, its history and how it benefits your community. The first step to taking care of our rivers is understanding why we need to take care of them!
  • Don’t litter and clean up items that do not belong in our waterways or parks, even if you weren’t the one who left it.
  • Reduce pollution and unwanted substances from entering our waterways or going down stormwater drains, which ultimately lead to our streams, rivers and oceans. This includes chemicals and soaps such as those used to wash your car or toilet. Opt for products that are natural whenever possible!
  • Avoid the spread of aquatic invasive species by cleaning, draining and drying all boats and equipment.
  • Join local stewardship or streamkeeper groups! These groups need your help and are very rewarding to be a part of.

Active streamkeeper and watershed stewardship groups in Burnaby include:

To assist in identifying your Burnaby watershed or help find a streamkeepers group near you, contact the City of Burnaby’s Planning Department at or 604-294-7400.

Why Do We Do This Work?

The Lower Mainland Green Team organizes hands-on educational activities that have a positive environmental impact to empower people. Through activities such as invasive plant removals, plantings, litter cleanups and more, we are fostering connections with others and nature so that health and well-being is prioritized, lifelong environmental stewardship is promoted, and community members are enabled to take care of themselves, each other and the places they live. We all have the power to make a difference!

We all experience mental and physical health benefits from spending time in nature, including reduced stress and anxiety, and improved mood, focus, memory and more. While doing so, we can also have a positive impact on the environment as demonstrated through this activity!

Partner For This Activity

A huge THANK YOU to the City of Burnaby’s Planning Department for making this activity possible with their financial support and direction!

This activity was part of the City of Burnaby’s World Rivers Day celebration, a family-friendly event to learn about our local waterways, restoration efforts to help protect these environments and inspire people to do more for our rivers everyday. Thank you City of Burnaby for involving us in this exciting celebration!

What Volunteers Said

“I was given the opportunity to contribute to a better environment, which I appreciate. It was satisfying to eliminate all the invasive species, somehow stress relieving. We got 8 m3 of plants out. That’s a great achievement. It could have an apparent impact on the environment of that area. Giving local species space to grow. And by demonstrating to others, we might inspire them to join us in future events.

Thank you for organizing the amazing event! It was so nice to come out and meet all the amazing people and do great thing together.”

– Yinghao

“I liked being able to work alone at a single task and focus on myself and nature. After seeing the before/after photos I can really appreciate the change in landscape, how much this will allow the native species to reclaim that space.

I acknowledge how inclusive this activity /organization is. People can come spend a few hours of their weekend enjoying themselves and the company of others for free; free activities are increasingly harder to find! This has a profound impact on including members of the community from diverse social positions whom may have barriers to activity. Moreover, providing supplies and snacks doesn’t highlight financial barriers faced by participants.

The removal was great this weekend as it has always been! Always a pleasure to come out and have fun 🙂 <3″

– Julia

“As always Lower Mainland Green Team helps me to feel part of the community. It was fun event and for good cause. Thank you!”

– Amy

In-Action Photos

The 6th Centre Lake Burnaby Cub Scouts joined us and dug up some big blackberry roots and pulled lots of ivy!

Spider-man doesn’t just save people, he saves trees from ivy too!

In-Kind Supporters

Thank you to LUSH for providing Karma Kream Lotion, Orange Shower Scrub and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner to thank our amazing volunteers!

Our Staff

This activity was led by the Lower Mainland Green Team‘s Program Manager, Ashton Kerr (front), our NEW Program Coordinator, Andrea Robles (back right), and Green Teams of Canada‘s founder and Executive Director, Lyda Salatian (back left), who also founded our Lower Mainland Green Team in 2011!


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