Habitat restoration crew members and volunteers build bird

Youth SNAP into action

City of Surrey program keeps parks free of invasive plant species.

Every year a group of environmentally conscious youth restore and enhance Surrey’s natural areas, parks, forests and boulevards.

For the last 12 years, members of Surrey’s SNAP Program (Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership) have worked in partnership with the City of Surrey and three non-profit organizations, The Green Timbers Heritage Society, Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society and the White Rock and Surrey Naturalists Society to promote environmental stewardship and to educate the public about the benefits of having natural spaces in their communities.

Using an in-depth database of invasive plant species, members of the Green Timbers Heritage Society and the City of Surrey are able to determine what areas need to be addressed, and what specific plants need to be removed or planted, and that information is then passed on to SNAP team members.

“Often residents will use local parks as a place to dump yard waste and trimmings, not realizing this can lead to the spread of many invasive species,” explained SNAP Program Coordinator Stephen McGlenn. “So through our outreach and education events in the various communities, we try to mitigate yard waste dumping behaviour.”

SNAP also uses interactive nature camps to teach young kids the importance of nature in the city.

“Many volunteers are looking to experience working in the environmental field, really to see what it’s like,” said McGlenn, “and SNAP is a really good stepping stone for many students.”

This year, SNAP staff and volunteers removed invasive species of plants and litter from nearly 3,300 square meters of city land.

For more information about the program or the various volunteer opportunities, visit www.surrey.ca/snap

photo@surreyleader.com

 

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