Volunteer Dave Raworth shovelling dirt on to an Oak Bay News “lasagna mulch” that is used to minimize regrowth of invasive plants such as prickly gorse on Anderson Hill. (Photo by Christina Johnson-Dean)

Volunteer Dave Raworth shovelling dirt on to an Oak Bay News “lasagna mulch” that is used to minimize regrowth of invasive plants such as prickly gorse on Anderson Hill. (Photo by Christina Johnson-Dean)

Old newspapers used in fight against invasive plants

Past editions of Oak Bay News make for great ‘lasagna mulching’

A group of local volunteers found an innovative way to recycle old editions of the Oak Bay News, putting it to good use in the fight against invasive plants.

Christina Johnson-Dean and Dave Raworth are volunteers who have been using old Oak Bay News editions for “lasagna mulching” on Anderson Hill Park since 2012 to “minimize regrowth of invasive plants like prickly gorse,” Johnson-Dean said.

“First the plant is cut back, then newspaper is laid on top, next goes a layer of soil (provided thanks to Oak Bay Parks), and finally, repeat two more times.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Green Team invade Anderson Hill Park

Lasagna mulching was first tried on Anderson Hill in 2012 by Monterey middle school’s Ecokeepers, led by teacher Mark Brown and assisted by Anderson Hill volunteer coordinator Johnson-Dean as well as Friends of Uplands Park steward Margaret Lidkea.

Now, Raworth is on a campaign to curtail the regrowth of gorse, said Johnson-Dean.

“Many people with dogs and children use the park so the decision was made to put in more effort to physically reduce invasive plants, rather than resort to chemical herbicides,” Johnson-Dean said. “Broom and gorse like sunlight, so by covering the plants with newspaper and soil, a shaded environment is created.”

READ ALSO: Visitors to Anderson Hill encouraged to play pick up sticks

Saturday morning volunteers, including Harry Hirsch, Jackie Bird and Gail Miller, have been cutting back the ivy along the Centennial Trail while there is also work to remove and reduce the spread of gorse is at the crest of Anderson Hill.

The Greater Victoria Green Team and students from Monterey, Oak Bay High, Glenlyon Norfolk School and St. Michaels University School have all contributed in removing thick ivy from the Garry oak branches over the past year. It’s also removed from the ground to discourage it from growing back. Blackberry and spurge (or daphne) are also removed.

“The result is beautiful fields of granite rock, shrubs [such as Oregon grape, Saskatoon berry and Indian Plum, which bears blue berry], giving the hill its colloquial name ‘Blueberry Hill,’” Johnson-Dean said.

It’s been a late season but the Indian Plum was the first to flower and is now followed by Satin flowers and fawn lilies. Beds of edible miner’s lettuce cover sections of the forest floor.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

North Saanich will encourage but not force residents to burn outdoor waste on days with good venting index. (Black Press Media File)
North Saanich fires up comprehensive strategy report on outdoor burning, green waste disposal

North Saanich to encourage but not require residents to burn only on days with good venting index

The Town of Sidney will receive $2.75 million in direct grant support from the provincial government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report before council Monday recommends a “cautious and measured approach” in using the funds. (Black Press Media File)
Staff suggest Sidney be cautious spending $2.75 million from province

Staff also warn of financial ‘uncertainty’ and raise prospect of tax increase

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read