Youth Activity: Invasive Blackberry Removal – Lagoon West Park, Colwood

Group photo of Ms. Arsenault and Ms. Webber’s classes from Dunsmuir Middle School!

Group photo of Ms. Knoke and Mr. Vavala’s classes from Dunsmuir Middle School!

What a fun day we had connecting people to one another and nature, all while restoring habitat! Keep on reading to find impacts, highlights and more from the day…


  • 85 enthusiastic students and and 4 teachers engaged
  • 122.5 hours contributed to habitat restoration
  • Over half of the students were excited to return to this park after having fun removing ivy here last year! 
  • 7.2 cubic metres (about 45 bathtubs full) of invasive  Himalayan blackberry removed
  • 370 square metres of habitat revitalized
  • Countless smiles, laughter, and stories were shared!


  • Students from Dunsmuir Middle School have been able to take part in continuous ecological restoration and many of them returned with knowledge, skills, and determination to remove invasive species!
  • Students and passersby enjoyed the additional education and decorative designs provided by the plant signs, learning about identification in a fun, creative way!
  • We had a little friendly competition with largest class root crowns and largest piles! The winning class with the largest pile was Mr. Vavala’s class with a total of 3 cubic metres!
  • It was a very fun day filled with great teamwork and lots of enthusiasm!
  • Students enjoyed working together to dig out massive root crowns – some even wanted to take them home with them!
  • Councillor David Grove joined this activity to work alongside the students and help inspire them! Thank you for your support!  
  • We are so grateful to be back working this gorgeous park that features ocean views and lots of fascinating birds as it is in close proximity to the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary!

Community Investment Partner

A huge THANK YOU to the City of Colwood for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada, and making this activity possible with their financial support and direction!

Together we are achieving our common goals and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship.

Why We Do This Work

The Greater Victoria 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!

Staff Who Made This Activity Possible

Kaitlin (left), Severine (right)

 Greater Victoria Green Team Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren and Program Coordinator, Severine Tyszewicz, work hard behind the scenes to bring these high-quality activities to you.

Partnership building, outreach, social media, activity logistics, leading on-the-ground, reporting on impacts and more – they can do it all!

Severine was hired as part of Green Teams of Canada’s Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing.

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