On Feb 7th 2011, I decided to take a shot in the dark and started an environmental volunteer group on meetup.com. My goal is to gather volunteers to participate in hands-on stewardship activities in partnership with metro vancouver parks, city parks, charities, non-profits and stewardship groups.
some of the activities include:
• Pulling invasive plants that are overtaking our native flora
• Planting of native plants/trees
• Restoring areas along a stream, river, marsh or shoreline
• Beach/River/lake clean up
• Harvesting organic fruits/veggies
• Trail building/maintenance
• Restoration of wildlife sites
What will volunteers get out of it?
• Meet like-minded people
• Feel good getting your hands dirty and being active in something you believe in
• Educate yourself about natural spaces and the environmental problems they face
• Learn first-hand about work being done in the lower mainland by different environmental groups
• Get the experience of a variety of stewardship activities
• Restore a natural space from a damaged state
• Be trained in stewardship practices
• Explore a nature space you may have never been to before
• Realise the benefits of working together with others
• Learn about environmental activities other group members are involved in
• Get physical exercise
• Have fun!
Ultimately, the success of this group is contingent on whether people jump aboard and participate. So far (it's March 27th 2011 today) it's been great with 164 members signed up to participate and 3 events are already under our belt (I listed these under "my success stories") I would love for the group to grow.
the change I want to ultimately make is bring people together to enable them to positively impact the environment.
So, last Friday I decided to take the dive and start a meet up group focused on getting people outside into our parks throughout the Lower Mainland doing something constructive to conserve the environment!
I contacted a whole bunch of non-profits, charities and Metro Vancouver and arranged 10 events (all the way till Sept 25th 2011) to:
Native plants are essential to maintain the biodiversity of our native habitats. Invasive plants (which generally have been imported by accident or on purpose) are able to grow rapidly and aggressivley, and are able to crowd out or outcompete native species due to their lack of controls such as disease and predation.
These plants often provide critical food and habitat for native animals, without native plants many animal populations maybe in danger, thus contributing to the decline of both plant and animal biodiversity in our eccosystems.
I TRY to help combat this problem in two ways.
First I am involved in a local stewarship group and spend time removing invasive plants such as Himalayan Blackberry, Scotch Broom, Purple Loosestrife, English Ivy and Morning Glory to name a few.
My Second contribution, is simply my knowledge; I use it to make informed choices about the plants I include in my garden, how I dispose of my garden waste, and of course I frequently share and spread the knowledge among other open minded, environmental citizens.