Volunteer Miaoju Hsu enjoys her work with the Greater Victoria Green Team. (Photo courtesy of Greater Victoria Green Team)

Greater Victoria Green Team a cleanup machine

Volunteers needed Dec. 8 in Portage Inlet

Rick Stiebel/News staff

Although invasive species are a growing concern in the Capital Region, volunteers on the Greater Victoria Green Team take a hands-on approach to helping protect sensitive ecosystems.

Nineteen people, including GVGT staff and volunteers, mulched a large section of the Atkins restoration area along the Galloping Goose Trail on Sunday, Dec. 2 to help quell the havoc wreaked by the evil invader, St. Johns Wort.

The work was a collaborative effort involving the GVGT, The Land Conservancy of BC and CRD Parks, said Amanda Evans, program manager for the GVGT.

“We are partnering with The Land Conservancy to enhance ecologically sensitive lands, build community and raise awareness,” she explained. “When agencies who have similar goals work together, they can be far more effective.”

Participating as a volunteer is a great way to meet people, learn about various projects and organizations working on environmental activities, get active outdoors and contribute to the health of urban ecosystems, Evans noted.

RELATED: Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleanup

Karen Iwachow, conservation programs co-ordinator for TLC, said the goal of the Atkins restoration at the Atkins Road Covenant is to remove invasive species which have been out-competing the naturally occurring ones characteristic to the increasingly rare Garry Oak ecosystem. “Our target is what’s commonly known as Aaron’s beard or St. John’s Wort.”

Volunteers employ the lasagna gardening method, which starves the invasive plant from sunlight by laying alternating layers of cardboard and mulch on top of it. “With time, the cardboard and mulch break down, providing a fresh layer of nutrient-rich soil for native species to repopulate the area,” she explained.

RELATED: Green Team program encourages students to be stewards of environmental

Volunteer Tegan McDonald said she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to help restore an area. “It was nice to get out and see a new place while hanging out with some good people,” she added.

Fellow volunteer Simon Bluck said volunteering allows people to see areas of great natural beauty they might not see otherwise. “Tackling invasive species is so important to try and maintain the health of Canada’s native plants,” he noted.

The GVGT needs volunteers for its last volunteer effort of the season from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 in Portage Park. Work will include removing invasive ivy and planting native trees. Volunteers are asked to gather in the lower parking lot to the left of View Royal Town Hall at 45 View Royal Ave.

For more on the GVGT, check out greenteamscanada.ca, and conservancy.bc.ca for more on the TLC.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read