Judging by the volume of invasive plants removed from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park Friday, it could be fair to say the greenspace was awash with species that simply don’t belong.
Lower Mainland Green Team organizers of the Earth Day effort say 76 White Rock and South Surrey students removed the equivalent of 88 bathtubs’ full of English ivy and English holly.
Two groups of students – 47 from H.T. Thrift Elementary and 29 from White Rock Elementary – participated. The first worked from 9-11 a.m., and the second from 12-2 p.m.
For 29 of the students, the visit was their first to the park, located at 14600 North Bluff Rd. For 61 of them, it was their first experience removing invasive plants.
“Having learned about invasive species in school, this activity gave the students an opportunity to learn about invasive species affecting their local ecosystems and make a positive difference by removing them,” a news release detailing the effort states.
“By being out in nature with their classmates, the students were able to connect deeper with each other, the places they live, and to nature. Through hands-on and immersive experiences like those provided at our activities, we are helping the community, particularly youth, cultivate a connection to and a deeper respect for nature, which leads to lifelong responsible environmental behaviour,” the release continues.
“Especially in the climate crisis, it is critical that we empower communities, especially youth, to take care of the environment and each other beyond our activities.”
The activity was run in partnership with Green Teams of Canada charity – of which the Lower Mainland team is a program – as well as the City of White Rock, which provided financial support and direction.
It was not the team’s first effort at the park, nor in White Rock as a whole. Last year, the team held eight activities in the city, engaging 296 community members of all ages. Combined, 69.5 cubic metres of invasive plants were removed during those activities.
And more work is already lined up for 2022, including ongoing efforts along West Beach. A date for that is being organized in May.
For more information, visit greenteamscanada.ca
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