View Royal Elementary school student Caitlin Perdue, 8, removes invasive English Ivy at Portage Park last week. As part of the event, which was a collaboration between the Greater Victoria Green Team, the Town of View Royal and the Victoria Foundation, 300 students helped in the revitalization of the park. Find the story on A4. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Green Team program encourages students to be stewards of environment

View Royal Elementary students helped remove English Ivy from Portage Park

Hundreds of elementary-school children invaded Portage Park in View Royal last week, but it was all for a good cause.

Roughly 300 students, teachers and some parents pulled on yellow gloves and strapped on their boots to help remove invasive English Ivy from a section of the local park on Thursday and Friday.

“It’s been an amazing day, a lot of work has happened already. The energy is very high,” said Amanda Evans, program manager of the Greater Victoria Green Team, who, in collaboration with the Town of View Royal, and with funding from the Victoria Foundation, put on the two-day event.

“It’s a great opportunity for local schools because they can take pride in the park that they visit and really think of themselves as stewards of this park … It was hard to get them [the kids] to stop working.”

In the first few hours of day one, students removed close to six cubic metres of invasive plants from the area. Organizers hoped to remove the species from at least 100 square metres of the park by Friday.

RELATED: Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleanup

But this isn’t the first time View Royal students have been involved in an initiative like this. In 2016, students helped clear English Ivy from another section of the park, and in 2017, students from Shoreline Middle School continued that work.

“We’re hoping that we’re creating future volunteers and that they’re going to take ownership of the park and care for it and look after it – see it as their park,” said Chris Junck, co-ordinator of habitat restoration volunteers with the Town.

“Long-term what we see in other areas is that it [keeping the park clean] seems to cut down on things like vandalism and litter, and people start really looking after and caring for their park.”

RELATED: View Royal students take classroom outdoors with Green Team project

Grade 5 student Max Williams said the initiative has taught him a lot about English Ivy.

“I learned that ivy invades trees and stuff way more than I thought,” he said. “It was fun pulling out ivy.”

Ten-year-old Madyson agreed and hopes to continue removing the species from other areas, beginning with the English Ivy in her backyard.

“I have some in my backyard so I can do that,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

 

A volunteer with the Greater Victoria Green Team hands out gloves to View Royal Elementary school students during day one of a two-day revitalization event at Portage Park, where students removed invasive English Ivy last week. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

View Royal Elementary school student Eyuel Dibike, 9, removes invasive English Ivy at Portage Park last week. As part of the event, which was a collaboration between the Greater Victoria Green Team, the Town of View Royal and the Victoria Foundation, 300 students helped in the revitalization of the park. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Amanda Evans (left), program manager of the Greater Victoria Green Team, speaks to View Royal Elementary school students during day one of a two-day revitalization event at Portage Park, where students removed invasive English Ivy last week. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Just Posted

Technical rescues on the rise for local fire departments

Rescues allow firefighters to use different skill set

Westshore Warriors have back-to-back undefeated seasons

Local players could continue to play together at Belmont Secondary

Fundraising events ramp up for Tour de Rock

Dancing with the Cops, barbecue and garage sale taking place

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

B.C. couple reunited with dog three years after disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Most Read