Today began dark and wet, and we expected to have an Invasive Pull that was rained out. As our 22 volunteers gathered at the base of the Red Alder Trail, in the Alexander Laidlaw Co-op, the rain seemed to get heavier. Hiding beneath the carport of Martin, our Free the Fern Vice President’s, home, we tried our best to keep dry and optimistic. Then, just as we were about to head out to the trail to begin planting, the rain stopped! It turned out to be such a beautiful day!
For 6 out of the 22 volunteers, it was their first time volunteering with Free the Fern. After an introduction & safety talk by Free the Fern Executive Director, Grace, everyone grabbed gloves and a bright vest (newly donated to us by the City of Vancouver Green Streets Program) and walked over to the Red Alder Trail. We split our efforts between 3 planting and invasive removal sites along the trail. Our focus was on removing small invasive ground cover: Lamium, Herb Robert, and Morning Glory. Volunteers managed to fill 4 city green bins (1440 L) of invasive plant material. We then planted 70 native plants (Tall Oregon grape and Sword Fern), that had been purchased from NATS Nursery and funded by Park People.
After about an hour of hard work, we all took a break together to enjoy hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and snacks. It was also a good opportunity to chat and connect with each other. After the break, many volunteers offered to head back out to the trail to do a bit more invasive removal before we all packed up at 12pm. It was incredible to see the transformation along the trail, as we restored native plants to the area.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers: Adam, Annette, Barbara, Brende, Ellie, Erin, Genesis, Grace, Jason, Jeannine, John, Josh, Liam, Lynda, Marine, Martin, Max, Moshe, Naomi, Sam, Tom, and Yasmine.