On Saturday, November 5, 2022, 14 volunteers gathered to help with Free the Fern’s monthly Invasive Pull Event. It was a surprisingly beautiful sunny day, after a night of heavy rain and winds. Volunteers of all ages came out, from children and their parents to seniors. Everyone met at the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden, just east of Kinross Creek Housing Co-op. We enjoyed a cup of tea, before creating a circle to share introductions as a group.
For this pull, we focused on two areas of the Champlain Heights Trail system. First, we moved up the Red Alder trail, just north of the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden, adjacent to Kinross Creek Co-op. There, we worked on removing invasive Himalayan blackberry and lamium regrowth. A year ago, we had planted many native plants along the trail edge, but some invasives had begun to regrow. Generally, removing invasives can take up to 5 years in a site, so continual checking and remediation is necessary. Volunteers worked together and succeeded in digging out some large blackberry roots and lamium ground cover from the area.
We took a brief break to have some juice, tea, cookies, and chocolates, before beginning on to our second stewardship site – the Triangle. This area of the Red Alder trail, is just south, where the trail forks. Currently the area is a large thicket of blackberry and ivy. Volunteers worked together to clip back the blackberry to about a foot high. At a future event we will work on digging out the blackberry roots from the area.
Volunteers helped fill 3 green bins of invasives (780L) and created 3 additional piles, which we will later dispose in bins.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers – Anne, Annette, Barbara, Carla, Erin, Grace, Liam, Martin, Robin, Stephen, Tae-Eun, Tom, Emily, & Lenny – for all your help today!