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More invasive Coquitlam blackberry plants to be removed by volunteer green team

Large plants that are disturbing Hoy Creek Trail near Creekside Village are set to ultimately be replaced by the city with native species.
LowerMainlandGreenTeamCoquitlamMundyPark 2
The Lower Mainland Green Team removes invasive species from regional parks, including Himalayan blackberries from Mundy Park in Coquitlam seen here.

The Lower Mainland Green Team is back in Coquitlam one month after successfully removing invasive Himalayan blackberries from Mundy Park.

This time, they're looking for help to get rid of the same plants along Hoy Creek Trail on Sunday (Oct. 24).

It's part of the volunteer group's ongoing mission to preserve local green spaces to their natural state and make room for native ecosystems to flourish.

Spokesperson Ashton Kerr tells the Tri-City News more people have already signed up for this second go-round: 40 volunteers and counting compared to the total of 35 in Mundy Park despite the rainy forecast.

"We expect to accomplish lots at this site which has been overrun with invasive Himalayan blackberry," she explained.

"Environmental stewardship is a collaborative effort and we depend on our valued partners and community volunteers to further our mission to connect people to each other and nature for our own mental and physical health, and the health of the environment."

Now, the Himalayan Blackberry can be a tasty treat for hikers, but the plant it grows on can disturb local forests, roadsides and streambanks by crowding low-growing vegetation, according to experts from the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC).

The plants can get up to five feet tall with canes stretching 12 metres in whatever direction it chooses, growing white-to-pinkish flowers and large leaves in the process, as well as shiny, hairless blackberries up to two centimetres long.

Once the branches and roots are removed from Hoy Creek Trail, Kerr said the City of Coquitlam is set to plant native species starting Oct. 30.

The Green Team is set to meet behind Creekside Village along the path east of Nursery Rhymes Daycare and conduct its work from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

Kerr stated if heavier rains are in the forecast, the risk of flooding increases and the event may be moved to a later date.

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.