Invasive plants thrive in the same growing conditions as the rare plants in Uplands Park, which is why volunteers swarm it several times a year to tackle the intruders.
Each fall the Friends of Uplands Park hosts the No Ivy League, equipping volunteers to remove English ivy and Daphne laurel from the 32-hectare Oak Bay park that includes a sensitive Garry oak ecosystem and Cattle Point. The extremely invasive ivy strangles trees and forms a complex, dense carpet that stops flowers from growing and animals from finding food.
Uplands Park plays a key role in protecting natural heritage and biodiversity.
Boasting one of the highest concentrations of rare and endangered plants in Canada, the park contains the remnants of a rare ecosystem of complex Garry oak meadows and woodlands, maritime meadows and vernal pools, which used to cover a much greater area in the region.
The team meets each Sunday this month from 1 to 3 p.m. with volunteer hours helping remove the invasive as well as bolstering grant funding.
Tools and gloves are provided as are refreshments. Volunteers can meet at the kiosk at Cattle Point.