Youth Activity: Removing invasive Himalayan Blackberry with Dunsmuir Middle School in Lagoon West Park, Colwood – October 18, 2023

Youth Activity: Removing Invasive Himalayan Blackberry with Dunsmuir Middle School in Lagoon West Park, Colwood – October 18, 2023

Group photo of Ms. Webber’s class who joined us for our first session of this activity!
Group photo of Ms. Arsenault’s class who joined us for our first session of this activity!
Group photo of Ms. Johnson’s and Ms. Jones’ class who joined us for our second session of this activity!
Group photo of Ms. Knoke’s class who joined us for our second session of this activity!

Highlights From The Day

  • 90 amazing students and 5 teachers from Dunsmuir Middle School along with 4 community member volunteers joined us and contributed about 141 volunteer hours!
    • Thank you to everyone for participating: Ms. Webber and Ms. Arsenault’s grade 6 classes, and Ms.Johnson’s, Ms. Jones’ and Ms. Knoke’s grade 8 classes! Thank you to our community member volunteers Trentin, David, Meaghan, and Layanna!
  • Together our team:
    • Removed about 53 cubic metres of invasive plant material!
    • Revitalized about 250 square metres of the park!
  • Scroll down to see before and after photos, as well as some in-action shots!
  • All of the students learned about native species, how to identify them, and how to safely remove invasive species.
  • Students developed a sense of ownership and pride for this park that is located close to their school.
  • Our Community Investment Partner, the City of Colwood, provided direction and funding to make this activity possible!

This was our second time working in this park this year and we look forward to returning to continue our restoration work together! The restoration work always continues though and there are more sections of invasive species we hope to tackle in the future. Having an important ecological zone behind their school is a really exciting opportunity for so many Dunsmuir Middle School students to gain hands-on learning experience with restoration and be able to see the progress of their efforts over time.

Before & After Photos

Why Do 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!

By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, participants:

  • Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
  • Have improved mental and physical health
  • Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
  • Learn the value of bringing together people to work towards a common goal
  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance

Students In Action!

Partner For This Activity

A big thank you to the City of Colwood for partnering with our charity, Green Teams of Canada and providing the financial support and direction to make this activity possible!

Thank you for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration! Together we are restoring habitat and creating connected, healthy and resilient communities engaged in environmental stewardship!

We are so excited to be returning to this park again in the future to continue this important work & remove event more invasive species! Stay tuned on our meetup page for more activities in the City of Colwood!

Thank you to City of Colwood Councillor David Grove for supporting us and joining in on the invasive removal fun!

We had a lot of fun exploring nature today and found many worms, bugs, and a snake!

Competition Results!

We held a healthy competition between the classes to see who could gather the largest pile of invasive plants, the largest root crown, and the longest root!

The biggest pile was created by Ms. Jones’ and Ms. Johnson’s class!

The biggest root crown was found by Ms. Knoke’s class!

The tie for longest root was achieved by Ms. Webber’s class and Ms. Arsenault’s class!


Great work everyone! We had so much working with all of these energetic students! A lot of great teamwork went in to removing these big stubborn root crowns together and so much joy and accomplishment was felt by all! Students were immersed in their local environment to learn and gain hands-on experience, and the park was revitalised with much more space opened up for native plants to grow!

Our Staff

This activity was run by our Program Manager, Kaitlin Warren (far left) and our Program Coordinator, Severine Tyszewicz (far right).

Severine was hired as part of the Youth Leadership Program, intended to empower the next generation of environmentally-focused community organizing!


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