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Himalayan blackberries rooted out by eco-conscious volunteers in Richmond

Another cleanup at Terra Nova Park is being organized this Saturday by the Lower Mainland Green Team.
21VOL (GreenTeam)2
Volunteers were pulling invasive blackberries out by the root at Terra Nova Park this past weekend.

Forty-one volunteers were pulling out Himalayan blackberries — even their stubborn roots — at Terra Nova Park on Sunday.

They managed to pull out eight cubic metres of the invasive plant, the equivalent of 50 bathtubs full.

The cleanup was organized by the Lower Mainland Green Team in partnership with the City of Richmond.

 Another cleanup event will take place again this Saturday where volunteers can continue ridding the park of these invasive plants.

The majority of the volunteers — of whom 33 were Richmondites — at Sunday’s event were youth, but there were also people of all ages and experience levels, explained the Green Team’s Ashton Kerr.

She was especially pleased when the group was able to get rid of dozens of stubborn roots from the dense, clay-like soil.

“By removing the roots, we are significantly reducing the chances of plant regrowth,” Kerr explained.

She pointed out, besides the obvious benefit to the environment, “participants themselves experienced many benefits by being out in nature with a group of committed people.”

They also got to meet new people, develop a sense of belonging to the community and cultivate a “deeper respect for nature” as well as learning about climate change and “how it impacts local ecosystems and what they can do about it,” Kerr explained.

Fourteen-year-old Theresa Wang was at Terra Nova Park helping clear invasives this past weekend.

“This program not only supports people in getting involved in the community, but it also gives youth like me chances to learn new things and gain volunteer experience and hours,” she said.

The second cleanup event takes place this Saturday, April 23 from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Terra Nova Park.

Gloves, tools and refreshments will be provided again along with some instruction.

Volunteers don’t need to have any experience to take part. 

More information and registration can be found at meetup.com/The-Lower-Mainland-Green-Team.

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