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Volunteers making room for native plants on Coquitlam's Burke Mountain

More invasive blackberry bushes are set to be removed from a trail at the end of Don Moore Drive this weekend.
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.

The Lower Mainland Green Team is returning to Coquitlam this weekend to remove more invasive Himalayan Blackberry plants that have grown exponentially over the summer.

Dozens of volunteers are set to safely take down the plant along a trail on Burke Mountain — beginning at the cul-de-sac entrance at the end of Don Moore Drive.

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

The Himalayan Blackberry, while normally a tasty treat for hikers, can cause harm to 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.

They grow white-to-pinkish flowers and large leaves in the process, as well as shiny, hairless blackberries up to two centimetres long.

Once enough of the invasive species is removed, Coquitlam city crews will replace them with native plants, shrubs and trees.

In a release to the Tri-City News, event spokesperson Megan Walker said it's important that everyone, especially youth, understand the physical the mental health aspects of conducting such a project.

"This activity is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, get exercise outdoors, feel more connected to nature and the community, and make a tangible environmental impact," she added.

"There are many mental and physical health benefits to spending time in nature including reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and memory, and fresh air. Not to mention the empowering feeling of making a difference in the community."

The invasive plant removal is a collaboration betwen the Lower Mainland Green Team and the Green Teams of Canada, as well as the City of Coquitlam.

Interested participants are asked to meet at the end of Don Moore Drive at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday (Sept. 10) and Sunday (Sept. 11).

Teams will be picking the plants until 1 p.m. on both dates — rain or shine.

Residents are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle, clothes that can get dirty, long sleeves and long pants, closed toed shoes, and a rain jacket.

For more information on how to get involved, you're encouraged to visit the Lower Mainland Green Team's MeetUp pages: