On Saturday, February 4, 2023, Free the Fern had successful Invasive Pull. 14 volunteers (3 for their first invasive pull with us) gathered to remove invasive Himalayan blackberry and ivy from the Red Alder Trail. We focused our efforts in the “lower triangle” – an area of the Red Alder Trail that will be transformed into a Native Food Forest by the fall of 2023.
We gathered at 10am beside the beautiful Douglas Fir Teaching Garden. Volunteers introduced themselves and shared where they are from and what brought them to the pull. All the volunteers at this month’s pull were South Van locals, from Champlain Heights neighbourhood or the River District. Volunteers ranged in ages from from 9 years old to their mid 60’s. Two volunteers joined us from the BC Ecological Restoration Program, one a masters student and the other a bachelors student.
After a brief demo on how to remove blackberry, from Grace Nombrado, President of Free the Fern, volunteers got to work. Before we new it, we had removed 1,800 L of Invasive plants & 90 L of garbage. Incredible!
Everyone enjoyed a brief break for a tea, hot chocolate and a slice of vanilla cake – in celebration of our 2nd year “Fernaversary”. The break was also a nice time for volunteers to chat and connect with each other. One of the nicest things I have found at Free the Fern is that stewardship tends to bring community together
After the break, we continued to pull and were surprised to see the sun peak out of the clouds! By the end, we had succeeded in clearing approximately half of the lower triangle area!
Overall, it was a lovely event. Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help: Annette, Barbara, Carla, David, Erin, Grace, Joe, Jeannine, Liam, Martin, Nancy, Tom, Vladimir, and Wylie. Special thanks for Kiki for picking up the delicious cake for us!