Reg Franklin Park is now home to many new local shrubs thanks to the work of the Lower Mainland Green Team and Alouette River Management Society last weekend.
A total of 29 community members came out to the event on Oct. 7, which had the workers digging up invasive Himalayan blackberry bushes and replacing them with native shrubs instead, explained Lower Mainland Green Team program manager Ashton Kerr.
“There were lots of smiles on this sunny fall day and a competition to see who could dig up the biggest blackberry root and the longest blackberry root added an additional element of fun to the day,” said Kerr.
The group managed to remove 5.5 cubic metres of invasive blackberry bushes, which Kerr equated to 34 bathtubs worth. In its place are 25 native shrubs now, which Kerr said will help bring biodiversity back to the park.
“We were extremely pleased to see many of the native shrubs we previously planted to be taking root and doing well, in large part thanks to dedicated local residents and volunteers such as Katie Marcia who spent many hours this summer watering and removing invasive plants to give these shrubs the best possible chance of survival,” said Kerr.
But the group’s work isn’t done yet, and Kerr said they hope to continue their efforts to improve community spaces by applying for funding from the City of Maple Ridge.
“Green Teams of Canada and ARMS have submitted a budget proposal to the City of Maple Ridge asking them to provide funding to our two local charities so we can continue to offer these valuable activities that empower and connect people while having an environmental impact on a more frequent and long-term basis,” said Kerr.