Newton

Volunteers help remove invasive plants from Surrey park

Environmental groups can be a ‘stepping stone’ for future career

A park in Newton was buzzing with volunteers removing invasive species recently, but the evening wasn’t all about habitat restoration.

Members of SNAP (Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership) and SYSS (Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad) were at Hazelnut Meadows Park in Newton to remove blackberry bushes, an invasive species, but Shenae Borschneck, the program co-ordinator for SNAP, said the day was mainly about SNAP youth getting to mentor SYSS volunteers aged 13 to 17.

READ ALSO: Youth volunteers improve South Surrey’s Chantrell Creek Park, Aug. 7, 2019

“It kind of shows them a career option, potentially, because SNAP is a great stepping stone for people wanting to get into conservation or any type of environmental work.”

Borschneck said the youth are at an age where they are “trying to figure out a career direction.” She said it’s a good mentoring opportunity.

OUR VIEW: SNAP is a community group that’s good to grow, May 20, 2018

SYSS members, she said, can talk to SNAP students who are currently in school for conservation or urban forestry, “and kind of pick their brains and help them decide where they want to go career wise.”

For Tony Zang, who just graduated from the urban forestry program at UBC, helping out with SNAP is exactly the stepping stone he needs.

“It just provides a great experience to get some field work in and get exposure, especially since they have a close affiliation with the City of Surrey,” he said.

This is Zang’s second time working with SNAP, adding that he was part of a team two years ago.

“That was my first field-work position and it was a lot of discovering what I was good at, what I wasn’t good at. It was a lot of learning new things,” he said. “I’m in the urban forestry program, but two years ago, I was just starting out, didn’t really understand too much about it and it was a great way to put the lessons I learned in class into utilization while I was in the field.”

It’s a different case for Tarvin Bhatti who is planning to study kinesiology at SFU starting this fall.

“The first time I found out about SNAP was actually through the Canada Summer Job bank app, so I was just looking for a job in the summer just to spend my last summer before university to try and raise some money for my education as well.”

homelessphoto

Tarvin Bhatti during the invasive species removal at Hazelnut Meadows Park in Newton on Aug. 9. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

But Bhatti lives near the park and he said that knowing he can have a positive impact in the community is a “great experience.”

“Just knowing that I have an impact, a positive impact especially, in my own city and helping the kids and being able to teach them what I’ve learned… I’ve learned so much with this job already and I that can share that with the kids today is also a good opportunity.”

Going into the job, Bhatti said he had some background knowledge of invasive species.

“I kind of knew what some invasive were,” Bhatti said, “but honestly, I hadn’t even been to half the parks we’ve (now) been to and just being able to know and understand how the parks work, how the organization works, how the surrey operations centre (works)… it’s a great, valuable experience that I’ve just felt is rare to have.”

Borschneck said SNAP is a partnership between the City of Surrey, with three non-profit partners Green Timbers Heritage Society, White Rock and Surrey Naturalists and the Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society.

SNAP’s website says habitat restoration is “a long process,” so each year teams return to previous sites “to build on the work done by previous SNAP teams and ensure the longevity of our natural areas.”

Borschneck said invasive species removal at Hazelnut Meadows has been going on for a few years, mainly removing blackberry bushes.

There are also upcoming planting events for families throughout the city. First is Bose Forest Park (6203 164th St.) on Oct. 5, next is Bolivar Park 13400-block of 115th Ave.) on Oct. 12, then it’s Walnut Park (16265 82nd Ave.) on Oct. 19, Goodwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve Park (9016 164th St.) on Oct. 26 and Elgin Heritage Park (13500-block of Crescent Road) on Nov. 2.

READ ALSO: Surrey SHaRP program enters 24th year with $371K support from city, Feb. 6, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey bylaw’s tactics with Uber drivers deemed ‘entrapment’ and ‘completely wrong’

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke and Linda Annis had to say Monday about city staff hailing Uber drivers then issuing them warnings

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Two men charged with first-degree murder in 2019 Surrey case

Two men charged with first-degree murder in killing of Andrew Baldwin, 30, in Surrey

‘Our Surrey Vision’ report to be made public Thursday

Community-engagement project launched by Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association last year

COLUMN: Ontario ride-hailing experience has implications for Surrey

Ride-hailing is now operating in B.C., in a lightning-quick response to the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sex assaults linked, RCMP ask women not to walk alone in Coquitlam park

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Most Read