Kai Webb

Kai Webb

Volunteers of all ages pull together at Playfair

Newly established Greater Victoria Green Team leads invasive species removal work party at Playfair Park

After 30 years of restoration, the broom is gone, but the work parties continue at Playfair Park.

On Wednesday (June 10) volunteers of all ages joined to pull invasive species along Playfair’s south fence, including 15 students from the Oak and Orca Bioregional School in Victoria. The effort was led by the Greater Victoria Green Team, with nine adult volunteers.

The adults stripped English ivy and other species from the fence while the kids focused on a patch of snowberry under attack with morning glory and orchard grass.

“I’ve seen morning glory and English ivy starve a Garry oak, the ivy was so thick it squeezed the oak to death,” said Kai Webb of Oak and Orca.

At just 10 yeas old, Webb has been part of “countless” invasive plant removal parties before.

“My favourite to remove is probably the English ivy, it’s hard work but the most fun to pull,” Webb said.

The group of students biked to Playfair on Wednesday, a hot ride. They were greeted by Amanda Evans, program manager for the Green Team.

“We always start with the stewardship group for an area, or the municipality, and see what needs to be done,” Evans said.

In this case, Saanich Pulling Together has targeted areas of Playfair Park and Wednesday’s work party was focused on specific areas.

“We focused on the ochard grass today, an agricultural grass that’s naturalized here and at Beacon Hill Park, as well as other parks,” Evans said.

The Greater Victoria chapter o the Green Team started in September and one of its first work parties was actually at Playfair. On Thursday the Green Team held a work party at Discovery Island.

And it’s not just parks they help out at.

On Monday, the group will visit the City Harvest Co-Op urban farm in the Camosun panhandle of Saanich on Haultain Avenue.

“I don’t have a garden and I enjoy the finished result after cleaning up an area,” said Deanna Boocock, an adult volunteer who’s been to more than 15 Green Team invasive species removal work parties.

“You meet lots of newcomers and I visit amazing spaces I wouldn’t have known about.”

Visit greenteamscanada.ca for more information.

reporter@saanichnews.com