The work to repair Anderson Hill Park has been ongoing since the early 1990s yet volunteers continue to pull bottles, wrappers and other packaging from the park.
There is also the problem of dog poop bags.
And now another new one, as someone dumped their grass clippings in a garbage can on the park’s edge, through most of the clippings fell to the side, said Christina Johnson-Dean, who has been volunteering there since 1993.
Johnson-Dean started there as a Girl Guide parent, and though she is now a grandmother to the former Girl Guide’s children, she never stopped pulling invasive plants from Anderson Hill and is now the park’s volunteer coordinator.
Her team runs regular invasive pulling sessions throughout the year and with the District of Oak Bay’s assistance, have repaired multiple areas to a native state that were recently overgrown.
“When we clear, we are amazed at the amount of dumping that has occurred and still occurs, so that becomes another aspect of caring for our natural environment,” Johnson-Dean said.
The group has expanded to more invasives: gorse, ivy, blackberry, Daphne, holly, and others that creep in or are tracked in, such as pyracantha or cotoneaster, she said.
“We’ve worked with neighbours, and this past winter we helped clear ivy, boxwood, and more along the Island Road boulevard across from the park and along the Centennial Trail entrance [at Transit Road).”
Johnson-Dean credits the District for sending crews to haul away the piles of invasives the volunteers pull out, and for then planting native plants such as red flowering currant, Oregon grape, ferns, and other natives under the Garry oaks.