My project, Rubus Restoration, is an ecosystem restoration project in Burnaby’s Cariboo Heights Forest. Through coordination with BC Hydro and the City of Burnaby, I earned permission to work on the project site. I recruited volunteers from the Invasive Species Council of B.C.’s youth volunteer network, the Cariboo Heights Forest Preservation Society, and other local connections. The goal of the project is to remove invasive Himalayan blackberry from the restoration site and restore the area with a diverse array of native plants. Since starting the project, over 20 volunteers have come out to brave the weather and blackberry to make their community a more biodiverse place to be.

After four days of removing the blackberry, the time came to restore the site with native plants. I used grant funds to purchase a variety of native plants that my volunteers and I planted throughout the restoration site. We’ve planted over 70 plants and removed over 500 kilograms of invasive blackberries since the start of the project.

This was the first project I had ever led. I had participated in many restoration events across Metro Vancouver in the past but never led my own. Starting the Rubus Restoration project has been such a fun, rewarding, and challenging experience. Through leading Rubus Restoration, I learned so much about how to coordinate with stakeholders who have rights over the lands that I work on, how to create budgets and prepare for unexpected expenses, and how to engage and entertain volunteers of various experience levels to keep them coming back for more!

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