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Volunteers pitch in to clear tub-loads of invasive plants from White Rock park

Green Team efforts at Ruth Johnson Park began in 2013

Native plants in a White Rock park have more room to breathe and grow, thanks to the latest efforts of the Lower Mainland Green Team (LMGT) and more than two dozen local volunteers.

Some 27 volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and experience joined the team at Ruth Johnson Park on Nov. 27, helping remove invasive species that would otherwise continue to choke out native plants.

Together, they removed 25 cubic metres of English Ivy, English Laurel and English Holly – enough to fill 156 bathtubs.

READ ALSO: Lower Mainland Green Team looking for volunteers ahead of White Rock clean-up

LMGT program co-ordinator Megan Walker said the work not only helps the park’s native plants thrive, but also connects and engages the community in addressing and learning about environmental issues. There’s also the benefits of being out in nature, she noted, naming reduced stress levels and improved mood as examples.

“By connecting people to nature, we help instill responsible environmental behaviour that extends beyond our activities,” Walker added.

Walker said the youngest volunteer, a six-year-old named Eric, even found another invasive species – a black slug. The gastropod mollusks can endanger sensitive ecosystems and out-compete native banana slugs, she explained.

The day’s cleanup was the first led by Walker and Reenaz Nawar, as part of Green Teams of Canada’s youth leadership program.

The team’s work at Ruth Johnson Park, however, has been ongoing since 2013. Of the 27 volunteers who pitched in on Nov. 27, for 14, it was their first introduction to the park. For seven, it was their first time removing invasive plants.

Funding and direction was provided by the City of White Rock.

Anyone interested in getting involved in 2023 LMGT stewardship activities may learn more at
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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