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Volunteers gather to pull invasive species at Saanich’s Marigold Park

Pulling Together program emphasizes many hands making light work
Lead volunteer, Laura Gretzinger, and a group of youth volunteers from Pollinator Partnership Canada who removed invasive species at Marigold Park. (Photo courtesy of Katie Turner)

Saanich’s Pulling Together program is well underway, as volunteers from across the municipality come together to remove invasive plant species.

The first day of October saw a little sunshine at Marigold Park, that familiar fall chill in the air and volunteers bustling about removing such species as Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and orchard grass, all hampering otherwise healthy ecosystems.

“This program is meant to enhance biodiversity and the idea that many hands make light work is at play here,” said Nathalie Dechaine, Saanich’s manager of community development and business systems.

Pulling Together welcomes those willing to lend time to the environmental cause. Volunteers typically work in such environments such as creekside forests, wetlands, wildflower meadows and waterways.

ALSO READ: Cuthbert Holmes Park in Saanich home to pathway and creek upgrades

Not only are volunteers removing invasive species, they’re also planting native trees and shrubs, improving wildlife habitat and planning and monitoring the progress of ecological restoration work.

“Some of our volunteers have more than one project on the go and they’re amazingly dedicated. Our goal is to directly involve the community so we can show them it’s possible to make a difference,” Dechaine said.

Education about parks and invasive species is a large part of the ecological restoration program, and dedicating time to restoration in a hands-on way is a great way to begin learning, she said.

Interested volunteers for Pulling Together can find out more online at

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