Scott Creek gets an invasive English ivy removal for Earth Day


As members of Hoy / Scott Creek Watershed Society (HSWS), this past Sunday in Coquitlam, my daughter Jackie and I joined the congregation of Eagle Ridge United Church (ERUC)  in honour of International Earth Day 2015.  After feeding the salmon at Hoy Creek Hatchery  I put on a #BadSeed t-shirt (it was getting hot out) and we headed down with other HSWS members to help  remove invasive plants (mainly English Ivy) and garbage from the banks of Scott Creek south of Guildford Way and Eagleridge Drive. I was shocked when we arrived and the congregation had already nearly a dump truck full of ivy. We jumped in and continued  on with them.  It's always heartwarming to see families out, and people of all ages working together in nature with a common goal. The City of Coquitlam had provided the truck and all the equipment for clipping, digging, and garbage picking.

I've always loved English Ivy, and remember having it in our home in Alberta growing up. It was almost treated like an exotic plant there, as well as in The Bahamas, were I used to live. It's everywhere here in British Columbia, and it looks so pretty growing over everything. Even though it's beautiful,  it's fast growth and extensive rooting system can quickly take over an entire area. Pulling  up ivy was not as easy I thought, as you could start by pulling up a root at your feet, and find out it extends meters away. My back sure felt it the  next day!

In total over 50 people come out, thanks to Eagle Ridge United. The photo above, provided by ERUC, is only a portion of those who lent a hand. "Improving the quality of this valuable habitat by removing invasive plants and garbage, and helping to restore native vegetation, is one small way our congregation is giving back to our neighbourhood" says Ingrid Brown, Associate Pastor for ERUC.

Jackie standing by a pile of uprooted English ivy; Ivy on the trees; Me next to the Bad Seed sign (no it's not a rock band, lol; and Jackie planting a tree that will support the riparian area were also planted.

Once we were done, my daughter reminded me that I'd promised her Starbucks, and we walked the short block to get something cold. Guess what they had in their patio planters?  Yup, English ivy!

Established in the Hoy-Scott watershed in 1987, Eagle Ridge United Church is located squarely between Hoy and Scott Creeks, which join together before entering into the Coquitlam River. Both creeks support numerous species of salmon, including chum, coho, pink and steelhead, and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife in this urbanized neighbourhood.

The Hoy / Scott Watershed Society operates a small salmon hatchery in Coquitlam and conducts a salmon enhancement program. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promotes public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed restoration and preservation.

English ivy is used throughout the Lower Mainland Vancouver area in landscaping. I took this photo in a shopping center parking lot in Coquitlam.