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Photos: Around 70 volunteers help plant Richmond's fourth mini forest

Community members of Richmond, Vancouver and Burnaby came together on Saturday.

Richmond's Garden City Park saw a bustling crowd of volunteers on Saturday to help plant the fourth mini forest in the city.

Around 70 volunteers, including Richmond South Centre MLA Henry Yao, who initiated the project, were all dressed and ready to get muddy, according to Sharon MacGougan, president of the Garden City Conservation Society.

These mini forests, also known as Miyawaki Forests, are small-scale, densely planted, native urban forests consisting of trees, shrubs and perennials.

MacGougan said the huge turnout of volunteers had the City of Richmond and the society make an impromptu decision to have half the volunteers help pull invasive Himalayan blackberry plants.

Within two hours, the 100 square-metre forest with around 500 plants was fully planted. Volunteers then helped fill the space between the plants with bark mulch.

"We're just overjoyed because it's really important to get biodiversity into the ground," said MacGougan while describing the opportunity to see community members excited to help.

While most volunteers were Richmond residents, others travelled from Vancouver and Burnaby to lend a hand.

Children and toddlers also participated in both invasive plant removal and the planting process.

MacGougan told the Richmond News this is a great experience and opportunity to show the future generation the importance of wildlife habitats.

"It's important for them to grow up and see birds that we commonly see now that are here because we've taken the time and ... commitment to restoring the birds and animals' habitats," she said.

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