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Invasive Pull – May 4, 2024

Today, we had 16 amazing volunteers gather to help remove invasive plant regrowth along the Red Alder Trail. 3 of the volunteers were joining us for their very first invasive pull, and we were happy to welcome them!
After our Executive Director, Grace, welcomed everyone and gave a land acknolwedgment at the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden, we walked south down the Red Alder trail to the Food Forest. In October 2023 we had planted this area, full of native edible fruit trees, shurbs, and ground cover. Unfortunatley, invasive Himalayan blackberry is beginning to regrow in the area. So, our volunteers got right to work digging out the roots of the invasive blackberry.

When comparing Himalayan blackberry to our native trailing blackberry, we noticed that the Himalayan blackberry leaves have a more rounded shape. In addition, mature Himalayan blackberry plants have leaves growing in groups of 5 vs. trailing blackberry, which grows leaves in groups of three – “if it’s five, let it die – if it is three, let it be”.

After an hour of hard work, we took a well deserved break back at the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden. Everyone enjoyed sipping on tea and juice and having a few snacks. It was nice to be able to sit on our new sacred circle cedar seats, carved by Squamish carver, John Spence and his apprentice son, Koda. It was a nice chance to just chat and connect with each other.

After the break, we got back it. Many of the volunteers continued with the Himalayan blackberry removal. While, a few volunteers chose to switch to removing ivy, just across from the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden on the Red Alder Trail. One of our volunteers was interested to gather ivy for paper making. We love to see invasive plants being repurposed in creative ways!

Together, we removed 480 L of invasive plant material and a pile of ivy that we will dispose later.

At the end of our event, many volunteers stayed to help pack up all our tools, gloves, tables, etc and transport them back for storage.

Thank you so much to our amazing volunteers: Anne, Antone, Autumn, Barbara, Catherine, Chloe, Elena, Ellie, Erin, Grace, Gray, Jeannine, Jodie, Joshua, LIam, and Roswell.