September Eco Team Restoration Site

BIG CHANGES

for Better Wildlife Habitat

img_4383If you visit Pacific Spirit Regional Park at Crown and West 22nd Avenue you might notice some big changes.  Over the past month, a excavator and many dedicated volunteers with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Ecological Restoration Team and Pacific Spirit Park Society Eco Team have worked hard to remove tonnes of Himalayan Blackberry and plant 500 native trees.

At the beginning of September the site was completely covered with 6 feet high Himalayan Blackberry thickets.  This invasive plant not only out competes native trees and shrubs, but creates an ideal environment for hidden dumped garbage and rats.

After the excavator removed the Himalayan Blackberry foliage, the PSPS Eco Team spent several weeks hand digging the extensive roots.  An enthusiastic and hard working grade 7 class from Immaculate Conception School, as well as staff from the Doctors of BC, also come out to remove roots and plant native trees.

Last Saturday, Metro Vancouver Ecological Restoration Team and PSPS Eco Team had over 75 volunteers attend the big planting event to plant the rest of the 500 native trees.  The Vancouver Park Board brought in a variety of species, including Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Cascara, Vine Maple, Big Leaf Maple and Pacific Crabapple. Together, we have create a big change that will improve native plant biodiversity, increase habitat for birds and wildlife and grow into a beautiful forest for park users to enjoy for generations.

Thank you all for helping to improve our park, one invasive patch at a time!

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Big Planting Event – Saturday, September 24th

Join PSPS, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks and the Vancouver Park Board increase wildlife habitat by planting native trees in Pacific Spirit Regional Park this Saturday from 11:00-3:00.  Come by for an hour or stay the whole time.  We will have gloves, tools and lots of great snacks!

We hope to see you there!

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Welcome Back!

Hello to all of you who have been away this summer and to those of you who have are finding PSPS for the first time!

We have an exciting fall ahead of us with several wildlife habitat restoration projects, invasive plant mapping, water quality monitoring and nature education programming!

If you are curious to learn more about our programming and restoration projects, stop by our booth at the Wesbrook Village Festival or join in the environmental stewardship fun with the PSPS Eco Team this Saturday.

We hope to see you soon!

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Win a Kid’s Books Gift Card!

What are your favourite things to do in

Pacific Spirit Regional Park?

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CALLING ALL KIDS:

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Send your answer to the question above to Krista at volunteer@pacificspiritparksociety by October 15th, 2016 for a chance to win a Kid’s Books gift card.

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Critter Capers- The Case Of The Missing Berries!

When, after months of patiently waiting for the berries to ripen, Cheryl the Chickadee expectantly returned to her berry bush- only to discover somebody else had already chowed down on every last juicy morsel, depriving her of her long awaited midsummer feast, the Pacific Spirit Park Society and Metro Vancouver were on the case. We opened the crime scene to young detectives, inviting them to track Cheryl’s wing beats around the park and visit information stations, brimming with evidence for them to scrutinise, along the way. Check out our video of the event!

Armed with their clue books, the participants could gather information, eliminate suspects and even complete a DNA test and inspect gruesome stomach contents samples, involving jars filled with plastic beetles, insects, berries, bones and feathers suspended in a watery solution. All in all, the ideal way to spend a day in the eyes of anyone between the ages of 5- 12 years old.

Or… so you might think!

During setting up the circuit, I found myself drifting happily from station to station- the general theme of my thoughts being ‘I would have LOVED this as a kid!’ After consistently and enthusiastically repeating this in my head for over an hour, the strong correlation between having fun at the event and not being a child forced me to adapt my statement. Thus, as the youngsters tackling the whereabouts of Cheryl’s berries began to arrive, I sense our restless energy and sparkling eyes matched one another as I greeted them with “I find this very exciting and I’m an adult!”

During one of my rounds I bonded with a lady, who I’d estimate was in her sixties, over stomach contents jars. She was one of the numerous lone adult stragglers, many of whom had just ‘stumbled upon’ the Critter Capers trail and decided they may as well follow it- you know- since they were there. These older investigators approached the stations somewhat shyly, as though embarrassed that they found the idea of dipping a piece of paper in some water, only to watch it flood with vivid colours and a sense of scientific achievement, too strong a lure to resist.

There were others, who were more confident in their hopeful lingering and exploration of the stations, coming up to poke the props and ask carefully constructed I-was-just-curious-and-I’m-not-even-really-that-interested questions. When asked if they’d like a turn with the DNA test, time and time again an irresistible smile would wrinkle their cheeks and they would reply with a thrilled “Ooohhhh yes please!” dispelling even the most convincing facades of disinterest.

I did not spend much time with many of the children, who paused only long enough to grasp the purpose of each station and conclude which suspect they could put a big cross through, based on the implications of what they’d learned there.

However, the inquisitive sixty-year-old and I, easily spent quarter of an hour closely examining each of the stomach contents samples and swapping observations.

“Racoons eat slugs?” she blinked in disbelief and readjusted her glasses to get a closer look “Wow!”

Critter Capers is an event I admire because it clearly has an effect on people which reverts them back to childhood, but seems to concentrate all the best parts of being new and fresh to the world. Eighteen and sixty-somethings can gaze in wonder and be amazed by the things you might find inside a tree-frogs belly. While the real kids get the opportunity to make positive connections with their local wildlife and regional parks.

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Holly hauling and a few guest visitors!

The morning rain brought out lots of wildlife in Pacific Spirit Regional Park this Saturday! We saw a few salamanders and, of course, banana slugs.  The forest was also filled with the sounds of the Swainston Thrush and many other breeding birds.  

With this beautiful scene as the backdrop, we hauled 14 bags of English Holly out of the forest to make room for the Salmon and Elderberry plants to grow. Yay, more berries for the birds and more habitat for the salamanders and, of course, the lowly slugs.  

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Penelope Edgar Photography
www.facebook.com/penelopeedgarphotography

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