Greater Victoria Green Team Program Manager Amanda Evans, right, works with international students from Parkland Secondary School to remove English Ivy from Lillian Hoffar Park in North Saanich. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Green Team tackles weeds in North Saanich

Greater Victoria group working to connect people with local green groups

It may look like they’re pulling weeds, but what the Greater Victoria Green Team actually does across the region, is connect people with volunteer groups looking after our environment.

A small group of international students from Parkland Secondary School in North Saanich joined other volunteers at Lillian Hoffar Park — a small, urban green space close to the community’s border with Sidney. The students — from Germany, China and Japan — met up with Amanda Evans, program manager for the Greater Victoria Green Team, who explained why they were there — to help rid the park of English Ivy.

But more than that, she said in an interview, the Green Team works with municipalities across the region on a variety of projects designed not only to improve the urban environment, but to build up pools of potential volunteers and expose people to green spaces they may not otherwise have been aware of.

“It’s a boost to stewardship,” Evans said. “We try to reach new people, to get them interested in volunteering in this way and attract new demographics.”

At Lillian Hoffar Park, the volunteer students were tasked with pulling out English Ivy, a non-native plant that had taken over large swaths of land in the park. Without any native controls, the ivy was spreading over the ground and into native plants, choking them out. Educating people about these and similar invasive plants, said Evans, is an important part of the process of getting more people interested in keeping local green patches healthy.

This, she added, was the second project of five that the Green Team is working on with the help and support of the District of North Saanich and the Friends of North Saanich — one of those local volunteer groups that she said is always looking for new volunteers.

“We engage with around 1,500 people per year,” Evans said, crediting that with the support of local communities and service groups.

“(The District of North Saanich) has recognized our input. They’ve signed on for five projects this year.”

Community volunteers, with help from students who used the outing as a learning experience, have cleared a lot of ivy out of the small (under two acres) park.

“It’s the people, the volunteers, who are integral to the success of this program,” Evan said.

The Greater Victoria Green Team was established in 2014 by Green Teams Canada and works throughout the Capital Regional District. Evans said they collaborate with more than 50 different groups for almost 60 activities each year, picking weeds, planting native species, cleaning up litter on beaches and helping on educational urban farms.

Evan noted they have another North Saanich project coming up on June 16 at Quarry Park off East Saanich Road from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. To find out how you can help, email

(Updated Thurs., April 19 at 10:42 a.m. to correct founding background.)

Just Posted

READERS’ CHOICE: Saluting the stars of the Saanich Peninsula

Welcome to the Peninsula News Review’s 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, our… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

Veyaness Road development gets go ahead

Contentious housing by-law passes on split vote

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Peninsula Streams needs volunteers

Program addresses the scourge of plastics in the ocean

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read