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Volunteers pull up 300 blackberry roots at Terra Nova Rural Park

The next Richmond events organized by the Lower Mainland Green Team will take place April 15 and 22.

Three hundred Himalayan blackberry root balls were unearthed at Terra Nova Rural Park by a group of volunteers.

The Lower Mainland Green Team led the initiative to rid the park of the invasive plants – in anticipation of the planting of trees - and 41 community volunteers showed up to invest some sweat equity.

A competition to see who could pull the most roots ended in a tie with the two winners pulling out 35 roots each.

There were also a competition of who could pull out the biggest root.

Ashton Kerr, program manager with the Lower Mainland Green Team, noted the competitions were won by some of the youngest volunteers.

One of the volunteers, Jiwon Park, first volunteered with the Green Team nine years ago when she was pregnant with her son, Adrian.

Now Adrian comes along to help pull invasives and this time, his fifth taking part in a Green Team event, he won the competition for digging up the biggest root of the day.

The day started with an educational talk, a demonstration and introductions, after which the volunteers got to work digging up the invasive plants in preparation for an Earth Day tree planting that will be led by the City of Richmond.

The majority of the volunteers were from Richmond, but people from outside the community also took part.

Next up for the Green Team is tackling a “massive thicket” of invasive blackberries taking over an area close to the Terra Nova Farm Centre.

Volunteers are invited to help pull these invasive plants on two Saturdays, April 15 and April 22 from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anyone interested in joining in can sign up on the Green Team’s Meetup page.

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