Armful after armful of English ivy was pulled off the native willows trees of McNeil Beach on Sunday.
Locals Jacques Sirois and Rick Marshall of the Community Association of Oak Bay led the ivy pull which, to their pleasant surprise, had a showing of 20 volunteers.
Oak Bay Parks supported the initiative and hauled away the ivy and other invasive plants that were strangling the willows along the beach.
“We removed a lot but there’s a huge amount,” Marshall said. “We didn’t finish it, it’s been growing countless years.”
An Oak Bay Parks member actually hauled away 15 cubic yards of debris, a tandem truck load, said Chris Hyde-Lay, Manager of Parks Services.
The group did clear a significant entrance to the space but will have to return and hope for more volunteers when that day comes.
Unfortunately there is no better option to fighting ivy except to remove it as it overwhelms almost anything, Marshall said.
Sunday was also the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at McNeill Bay, as inspired by the Ocean Wise Conservation Association and World Wildlife Fund Canada.