English ivy, Himalayan blackberries and Laurel dauphin are all gorgeous greenery that inhabit Vancouver Island, but they’re also invasive to the ecosystem.
To combat the growth of these plants, Oak Bay hosts Make a Difference Week from June 3 to 11. During the week, people will be removing invasive plants, promoting the growth of native plants and celebrating the volunteers who have been working over the years to maintain the local parks ecosystem.
According to Chris Hyde-Lay, manager of Oak Bay park services, “invasive species move and alter soil profiles, change a soil pHs, push out insects that live there and it’s just not good. You’ll end up losing the very things you want to maintain.”
Many of the parks volunteers will focus on removing invasive species in Garry oak ecosystems, which are endangered globally. Along with the Garry oak trees, other plants that live symbiotically to the trees are camas, shooting stars, fawn lilies, ferns and Nootka roses.
Make a Difference Week is also a response to the United Nations declaring 2021 to 2030 a Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, and part of that is the community giving back after May 22, which was International Day for Biological Diversity.
To celebrate the volunteers that have devoted hours to helping the local green spaces, it is encouraged for community members to join them in removal of invasive plants.
During the week, there will be several parks through the town celebrating with their volunteer groups. The locations hosting the celebrations are meeting at Beach Drive at Margate from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 9, Anderson Hill Park from 10 a.m. to noon on June 10, Brighton Avenue at Roslyn Road from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 11, and at Cattle Point Marine Kiosk for Uplands Park from 1 to 3 p.m. on June 4 and 11.
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