The upcoming Oct. 15 event is one of three scheduled community events led by the Lower Mainland Green Team in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge this year. (Lower Mainland Green Team/Special to The News)

The upcoming Oct. 15 event is one of three scheduled community events led by the Lower Mainland Green Team in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge this year. (Lower Mainland Green Team/Special to The News)

Community group invades Maple Ridge park to remove invasive plant species

Lower Mainland Green Team will be in Reg Franklin Park on Oct. 15

Reg Franklin Park in Maple Ridge is about to be overtaken by the Lower Mainland Green Team this weekend as they try and help some of the native plant species in the area thrive.

Through their partnership with the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS), this group of volunteers will be removing invasive Himalayan blackberry plants and replacing them with native shrubs.

The removal of invasive blackberry species is something these organizations have done in the past in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, including events at MacLean Park on May 28, 2022 and Reg Franklin Park on Oct. 30, 2021.

READ MORE: Volunteers needed to remove invasive plants from Pitt Meadows park

READ MORE: Green Team and volunteers tackle blackberries in Maple Ridge Park

By making these efforts, Ashton Kerr, program manager for Lower Mainland Green Team, says that community members can take a more hands-on approach in managing the beauty of their communities.

“We need to invest in strengthening connection to community and nature, and events like ours are doing just that,” said Kerr.

“Through activities that enhance natural habitat, our organization focuses on impacting and empowering people – especially those who are aged 12 to 30 who currently do not engage in environmental stewardship.”

Kerr also explained that these community projects will hopefully become a more regular thing thanks to a recent proposal submitted to the City of Maple Ridge by ARMS and Green Teams of Canada, which requests support for 12 hands-on environmental activities per year in Maple Ridge.

“In doing so, the City of Maple Ridge will not only be achieving goals outlined in their strategies and plans, but will be investing in its community and environment,” said Kerr.

For the Oct. 15 event, no experience or equipment is necessary, with volunteers being provided with all of the gloves, tools, and instructions they’ll need. However, first-time participants will be required to sign up ahead of time by visiting http://goo.gl/WRx6jr.

Kerr encourages volunteers to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, closed-toe shoes, rain jacket and/or hat, and to bring a refillable water bottle. However, additional refreshments will be provided.

“We will have lots of snacks, including homemade vegan brownies, and a thank you gift for everyone donated by a local sustainable business,” said Kerr.

There are approximately 48 volunteers for this event so far, but Kerr hopes to see even more sign up before it begins on Saturday morning.

This event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, with more information being available by visiting https://www.meetup.com/the-lower-mainland-green-team/ or emailing Kerr at ashton@greenteamscanada.ca.

RELATED: Maple Ridge salmon groups worry drought will hurt spawning


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