On Saturday, Sept 16, 2023, Free the Fern Vice President, Martin Collins, hosted a Weed & Feed event. We met just outside Martin’s home in the Alexander Laidlaw Co-op. 19 volunteers, between the ages of 9 and 65+, came (from as far as Port Coquitlam!) to help with invasive removal. After a land acknowledgment and introductions, we headed to the Red Alder Trail to remove invasives.
Martin led one group of volunteers to work at removing Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and black locust from the West Side of the Trail. While, Free the Fern Executive Director, Grace Nombrado, led a second group of volunteers to the East side of the trail to remove invasive Yellow Archangel (Lamium). Together we succeeded in clearing 1,800 L (5x 360L city green bins) worth of invasives!
Some highlights included:
- Unearthing a plastic rabbit garden ornament that one of our volunteer mistook for a dead squirrel!
- Our youngest volunteer, Tommy, finding a black beetle that enjoyed climbing up his arm.
- Being able to reveal a beautiful old growth big leaf maple tree that was hidden in the trail.
- Teaching new volunteers about the invasive plants and the native plants found on the trail.
Following the pull, we headed back to the front of Martin’s townhouse, where Martin’s wife, Joyce, had set out a wonderful pizza lunch with veggies and lemonade. Lunch was followed by fresh baked cupcakes and rice crispy squares for desert. Everyone enjoyed chatting and connecting together.
The Weed & Feed was made possible thanks to a Neighbourhood Small Grant, which provided funding for the gloves, tools, and lunch for volunteers.
Thank you so much to our hardworking volunteers: Alyha, Alyssa, Anna, Antone, Barbara, Catherine, Chinonso, Elise, Erin, Genevieve, Grace, Jeannine, Joyce, Liam, Martin, Patricia, Robin, Tina, Tom, and Tommy. We really appreciate all your help and hope to see you all at a future Free the Fern event!