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Invasive blackberry species to be removed from Coquitlam's Mundy Park

Though very delicious, experts say the plant itself can crowd other vegetation and limit wildlife movements.
Himalayan blackberries are delicious, but can be invasive in Coquitlam parks and neighbourhoods. The Lower Mainland Green Team is set to remove its plants in Mundy Park on Sept. 19, 2021.

Blackberries right off the branch are delicious and are a staple for Tri-City residents in the spring and summer months.

While buckets are filled to the brim and taste buds may be satisfied, the blackberry plant can be a hindrance for the neighbourhoods and the wildlife nearby.

A volunteer team dedicated to preserving and improving the environment is inviting members of the public to help remove the Himalayan blackberry invasive species from Mundy Park in Coquitlam this weekend.

According to experts from the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC), the Himalayan Blackberry plant can disturb local forests, pastures, roadsides and streambanks by crowding low-growing vegetation.  

The plants can grow up to five feet tall with canes that stretch to 12 metres wherever they touch the ground, grow white-to-pinkish flowers and large leaves, as well as shiny, hairless blackberries up to two centimetres long.

It also can create bushes — also known as thickets — so dense that it "limits the movement of large animals," the ISCBC explains.

"Thickets can produce 7,000-13,000 seeds per square meter. Himalayan blackberry also spreads by roots and stem fragments, as well as by birds and animals that eat the berries and disperse them."

The Lower Mainland Green Team is set to remove the invasive species for more than three hours rain or shine on Sunday morning (Sept. 19).

A member of the Green Teams of Canada said by partnering with the City of Coquitlam, the non-profit organization hopes this activity will encourage local residents to get outside for their own health's sake and see how they can improve their local ecosystem.

"The purpose of this activity and our mission as a charity is to connect, build and empower communities through hands-on activities that promote health, well-being and environmental stewardship," said Green Team spokesperson Ashton Kerr.
"By connecting people to each other and nature we address increasing sedentary lifestyles, social isolation and inspire environmentally responsible behaviour."
The crew will be in Mundy Park, next to Spani Outdoor Pool, from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place including constant hand sanitizing, physical distancing and bringing your own gardening tools.
For more information on how to get involved, you're encouraged to visit the Lower Mainland Green Team's MeetUp page.