Green Teams Canada logo of colourful tree and name of organization

GVGT in Action

Pit House Park, Colwood, November 27, 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team engaged 38 community members at Pit House Park in Colwood. We removed Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberry from this apple orchard that abuts the Esquimalt Lagoon, an important migratory bird sanctuary in this region. The invasive species have been crowding and shading out the native wildflowers and shrubs. Himalayan blackberry can produce 8,000 seeds per square metre, and Scotch broom can produce 30,000 seeds per plant. The seeds can live up to 30 years in the seed bank! By removing the invasive plants, we are helping the native vegetation regenerate. A special thank you to Gord Beauvillier, the Foreman of Parks who helped coordinate this activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: David, Roy, Richard, Lori, Sara, Artem, Olga, Judy, Rachel, Leslie, Amy, Remi, Kaia, Bill, Melissa, Tristan, Jade, Leo, Jason, Chloe, Pam, Grace, Rosana, Gia, Mieka, Emma, Ine, Sophie, Charlotte, Martina, Ernancy, Hannah, Brighten, Mohammad, Jason and City Councillors, Gordie Logan, Dean Jantzen, and Mayor Rob Martin!

Thank-you very much to the City of Colwood for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

Check out ALL PHOTOS from the day HERE

Highlights

  • In total 38 volunteers participated and contributed to 102 volunteer hours!
  • 23 volunteers were introduced to Pit House Park while 14 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 11 cubic metres of invasive plants and 1 pound of garbage!
  • We saw a Bald Eagle!
  • Mayor Rob Martin brought cinnamon buns and coffee from Royal Bakery for all of the community members!
  • Previous GVGT events at this park:

Before and After

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • 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
A Bald Eagle out on the prowl before the rain

Action Shots

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Abeego and Salt Spring Coffee

Volunteer Testimonials

“(I liked) seeing results as we worked, being outdoors, lunch-break and feeling welcomed.” – Ine

“Everyone was out today, (of all ages) and if everyone in the community comes out to help, we can definitely make the community better.” – Mohammad

“Without green team facilitating and bringing people together, spaces like this would be destroyed by invasive species” – Lori

“Meeting new people was definitely my favourite part, and knowing I was helping out the community was also a bonus. This program helped me realize that it’s important to help out the community because there are many problems, and we all need to help out to really make a difference.” – Hannah

Cunningham Woods, University of Victoria, November 20, 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Cunningham Woods on The University of Victoria Campus in Saanich. We removed English holly, English ivy, Thistle, Himalayan blackberry, and Spurge-Laurel daphne from this forest. These invasive species have been limiting the ability of native trees to reproduce within the forest. By removing around twenty, two to four metre tall English holly shrubs, we created light gaps that can be used by native trees when they are planted in the new year! After the Greater Victoria Green Team’s four events in Cunningham Woods throughout 2021, this forest is able to support more native biodiversity. Next year, the University Campus Planning and Sustainability Office will be organizing tree planting within the forest to increase the density of native trees in this forest. A special thank you to Mike Wilson, the Director of the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office who helped coordinate this activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Carolyn, Chelsea, Jack, Daniil, Jeremy, Jamison, Jacinthe, Olga, Christina, Meghan, Jordan, Roy, Tristan, Erin, Martin, Lauren, Daniel, Chloe, Artem, Denise, Rhiannon, Clarisse, Will, Tristan, Richard, Julian, Helena, Kai and Patty!

Thank-you very much to the Uvic Campus Planning and Sustainability Office for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 30 volunteers participated and contributed to 80 volunteer hours.
  • 16 volunteers were introduced to Cunningham Woods while 7 volunteer had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 18 cubic metres of invasive plants and 1 pound of garbage!
  • We were visited by The Martlet, University of Victoria’s Student Newspaper!
  • Previous GVGT event at this park:

Before and After

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • 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
Will sporting his new Greater Victoria Green Team T-shirt and his sister Clarisse sporting her T-shirt she received from a previous event!
YouTube video
GVGT Community Members take down a HUGE invasive English holly shrub!
Time to haul it out to the road where it will be collected by campus staff!

Action Shots

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Earth Rated (Compostable Dog Poop Bags)

Volunteer Testimonials

“It was very clear what to do, we made a ton of progress and removing the invasive species was incredibly satisfying! For me personally, it helps me feel I’m giving back to the community and feel connected to my community and environment. I can see over multiple events how we’ve changed the environments we’ve worked on, making so much space for native species to grow.” – Rhiannon

YouTube video
YouTube video

Perimeter Park November 13 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Perimeter Park in Colwood. We removed Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom from this meadow that looks out onto the Salish Sea. Without intervention, these invasive species would take over and limit the amount of native wildflowers and shrubs that bloom in the spring time. Thanks to years of intervention by the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity and is helping native species adapt to climate change by reducing competition and allowing space for them to migrate. A special thank you to Gord Beauvillier, the Foreman of Parks at the City of Colwood who helped coordinate this activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Axl, Artem, Olga, Kerry, Fletcher, Audrey, Tristan M, Tristan N, Chloe, Carmina, Rosana, Mieka, Judy, Lori, Allan, Ashton and Councillor Gordie Logan!

Thank-you very much to the City of Colwood for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Thanks to Victoria News for covering our event and helping spread the word about our community work!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 17 volunteers participated and contributed 51 volunteer hours.
  • 9 volunteers were introduced to Perimeter Park, while 1 volunteer had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 15 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • Councillor Gordie Logan come out to participate!
  • We found part of an antler beneath the bushes!
  • Previous GVGT event at this park:

Before and After

Community Members in Action

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Swedethings (Swedish dish cloth) and Tru Earth (laundry sheets)

Volunteer Testimonials

“It accomplishes useful restoration work. It is an encouragement and help to other restoration groups – especially small projects with limited people and resources. It builds community pride and a sense of responsibility for the natural areas in ones community. It promotes mental well-being by putting people outdoors in a positive activity.” – Judy

“(I enjoyed) the conversations with the other volunteers. The sense of accomplishment.” – Lori

YouTube video
YouTube video

Roberts Bay Park, Sidney November 6 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Roberts Bay Park in Sidney. We removed English ivy from old cedar trees that flank the park. Without intervention, these invasive species would choke these trees and eventually cause them to die off. Thanks to years of intervention by the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity. For example, the Nootka Rose and Snowberry bushes have grown much bigger with less competition from ivy since the last Greater Victoria Green Team Activity in 2019. A special thank you to Cliff Halliday, Parks Foreman at the Town of Sidney who helped coordinate and supervise this activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Jade, Artem, Olga, Pieta, Karen, Marianne, Chris, Tatyana, Ilka, Kai, Julian, Richard, Helena, Amanda, Raiya and Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith!

Thank-you very much to the Town of Sidney for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 18 volunteers participated and contributed 55 volunteer hours.
  • 12 volunteers were introduced to Roberts Bay Park, while 2 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 10 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • Previous GVGT event at this park: March 30th, 2019

Before and After

Community Members in Action

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Salt Spring Coffee

Volunteer Testimonials

“This program offers a wide variety of benefits. Meeting others, accomplishing a visible goal in a short time and the therapy of digging in the dirt and spending time in the great outdoors. Works wonders for the soul. Also takes me places I have not seen or stopped at before increasing my appreciation for my geographic area.” – Marianne

“Feeling I was doing something useful. It was fun and nice to be outdoors. People in the neighbourhood might be encouraged to join in.” – Chris

YouTube video
YouTube video

Portage Park November 5 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a youth activity at Portage Park in View Royal. We planted about 25 Douglas-fir saplings in areas where Shoreline students had removed invasive species in previous years and we removed English ivy from this lovely forest! Without intervention, these invasive species would shade out native species, choke the trees and greatly reduce biodiversity. Thanks to years of intervention by students Shoreline Middle School and the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity. A special thanks to Chris Junck, the Restoration Specialist with the Parks and Recreation Department at the Town of View Royal who helped organize and supervise the activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to all of the Students and Teachers from Shoreline Middle School for participating!

Thank-you very much to the Town of View Royal for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Before and After Pictures

Group Photos!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 78 students, 3 teachers and 1 community member participated and contributed 86 volunteer hours.
  • We removed 5 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • Students patrolled deep into the forest to clip climbing ivy from many trees in the inner canopy which had been missed by previous work parties.
  • We saw a Merlin and two Barred Owls fly through the forest canopy!

Volunteer Testimonials

“Being outside, feeling like we were part of something good. Seeing kids very excited and engaged. I think it raises awareness. Maybe encourages students to do more of this in their own neighbourhoods.” – Jen

“We were able to connect learning in the classroom about invasive species, bio and ecological systems, and our local area. Students were engaged from the beginning to the end – we will definitely look to participate again. This is their neighbourhood and they are able to see the progress of their work and they take pride in knowing they have helped to maintain the ecosystem in an area they frequent.” – Alex

Portage Park November 3 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a youth activity at Portage Park in View Royal. We removed English ivy and a few holly and daphne shrubs from this lovely forest! Without intervention, these invasive species would shade out native species, choke the trees and greatly reduce biodiversity. Thanks to years of intervention by students Shoreline Middle School and the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity. A special thanks to Chris Junck, the Restoration Specialist with the Parks and Recreation Department at the Town of View Royal who helped organize and supervise the activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to all of the Students and Teachers from Shoreline Middle School for participating!

Thank-you very much to the Town of View Royal for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photos!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 87 students and 5 teachers participated and contributed 92 volunteer hours.
  • We removed 6 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • Students patrolled deep into the forest to clip climbing ivy from many trees in the inner canopy which had been missed by previous work parties.
  • Mayor David Screech Came to visit us!

Knockan Hill October 30th 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Knockan Hill Park in View Royal. We removed Spurge-Laurel daphne, English ivy and Himalayan blackberry! Without intervention, these invasive species would shade out native species and greatly reduce biodiversity. Thanks to years of intervention by The Friends of Knockan Hill and the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity. A special thank you to Chris Junck, the Restoration Specialist with the Parks and Recreation Department at the Town of View Royal.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Jade, Artem, Olga, Judy, Jack, Tristan, Sara, Chloe, Liz, Richard, Eden, Simon, Bob, Connor, Evie, Nancy, Laura, Sharon, Joan, Doris!

Thank-you very much to the Town of View Royal for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 20 volunteers participated and contributed 55 volunteer hours.
  • 11 volunteers were introduced to Knockan Hill Park, while 2 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 12 cubic metres of invasive plants!

Before and After

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Gifts from Tru Earth (laundy detergent sheets) and Swedethings (Swedish dish cloth)

Volunteer Testimonials

YouTube video

“The impact on the park is immeasurable. Pulling out so many baby Daphne and invasive blackberry will help the health of the land” – Evie

“I had such a wonderful time in the forest amongst fellow Green Team members. I loved convening with the land in the neighbourhood overlooking the hills with the dog who kept us all company. I enjoyed my purpose of clearing a metre of ivy around the trees and removing some Daphne along the way. Nice way to spend an Autumn Saturday.” – Sara

Garry Oak Meadow Park October 23 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Garry Oak Meadow Park in View Royal. We removed Spurge-Laurel daphne, English ivy, Himalayan blackberry and English holly! Without intervention, these invasive species would shade out native species and reduce biodiversity. Thanks to years of intervention by parks staff, resident groups and the Greater Victoria Green Team, this park is supporting more native biodiversity. A special thank you to Chris Junck, the Restoration Specialist with the Parks and Recreation Department at the Town of View Royal.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Jennifer, Prateek, Kai, Bruce, Genevieve, Una, Francesca, Chloe, Diana, Gabriel, Tristan N, Tristan M, Julien, Rosana, Mieka, Paul, Simon, Robbie, Julian and Nick!

Thank-you very much to the Town of View Royal for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 20 volunteers participated and contributed 53 volunteer hours.
  • 16 volunteers were introduced to Garry Oak Meadow Park, while 3 volunteers had never removed invasive species before!
  • We removed 17 cubic metres of invasive plants!

Before and After

Volunteers Enjoying In-kind Food Wrap Gifts from Abeego

Volunteer Testimonials

YouTube video
YouTube video

Melville Park, Sidney, October 16th, 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Melville Park in Sidney. We planted Douglas-fir, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar and Big-leaf Maple trees! This tree planting effort will increase available habitat for multiple species, create more shade, capture carbon, provide more oxygen and beautify the surrounding community. A special thank you to Cliff Halliday the Parks Supervisor who helped organize the activity and to Mike who brought us the trees and helped supervise the activity.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Ronin, Nellie, Sika, Seamus, Tara, Lyda, Richard, Ray, Chloe, Olivia, Tristan N., Tristan M., Jack, Chad, Karen, Alex, Carmina, Emily, Connor, and Kai!

Thank-you very much to the Town of Sidney for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 22 volunteers participated and contributed 47 volunteer hours.
  • 16 volunteers were introduced to Melville Park, while 13 volunteers had never planted trees before!
  • We planted over 30 tree saplings!
  • We removed 5 cubic metres of English ivy from Resthaven Island!
  • We were visited by Sidney City Councillors Fallot, Garnet, O’Keeffe and Mayor McNeil-Smith!
  • We were featured on Check News!
YouTube video

Before and After

Mystic Vale October 14th 2021

The Greater Victoria Green Team organized a community and environmental activity at Mystic Vale, on Uvic Campus in Saanich. We removed invasive English ivy and English holly. Without intervention, many of the trees and shrubs in this forest would be smothered by the ivy. Thankfully, the GVGT community and years of Uvic Staff involvement prior to our GVGT activities, have been helping to save the native species! A very special thank you to Mike Wilson, Director of the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability as well as Nancy Shakleford, the Restoration of Natural Systems Director & Assistant Professor.

THANK YOU

Thank-you to everyone for participating: Peter, Sophie, Sean, Ann, Annika, Jerry, Nick, Maja, Colin, Dianne, Jennifer, Denise, Nelson and Roy!

Thank-you very much to the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of collaboration in community engagement and ecological restoration!

Group Photo!

PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE EVENT IS FOUND HERE

Highlights

  • In total 14 volunteers participated and contributed 35 volunteer hours.
  • 8 volunteers were introduced to Mystic Vale, while 5 volunteers had never removed invasive plants before!
  • We removed 9 cubic metres of invasive plants and 10 pounds of garbage!
  • A local resident, Colin, shared his experiences removing invasive species in his backyard which flanks Mystic Vale.
  • We saw a Pileated wood pecker!
  • Check out the other GVGT activities from Mystic Vale:

Before and After