The spreading thickets of invasive English holly in Sandwick Park are in for a rude awakening this coming Sunday.
Volunteers will be meeting at the entrance to Sandwick Park on Muir Road at high noon to battle the tireless holly.
While the colourful orange and red berries and dark green leaves of English holly can be quite attractive, this plant is an invasive plant species that can aggressively displace native plants and wildlife habitat by creating uniform areas of “monoculture” that reduces biodiversity. Volunteers will also remove any yard waste and litter from the park while completing the invasive removal.
Sandwick Park was generously donated to the City of Courtenay by the Sandwick Water District with the intent that it be maintained as a nature park. A conservation covenant under the Land Title Act, held by the Comox Valley Land Trust, is registered against the Park to protect it forever as a forest and to ensure that the intent of the donors is respected.
The covenant prohibits felling trees, removal of native vegetation or disturbance of soil.
Nature Parks such as Sandwick Park provide essential wildlife habitat within urban areas and allow residents to enjoy contact with nature. The City of Courtenay maintains trails through Sandwick Park that are used by walkers and cyclists.
Organized by the Friends of Sandwick Park, a local, volunteer —based community group formed to help preserve, restore and protect Sandwick Park and the Comox Valley Land Trust to promote the importance of caring for our natural areas in the Comox Valley.
English holly will be cut off at ground level or pulled out of the ground using shovels and specialized “pullers.” The holly removed from the park will be transported to the Pidgeon Lake Landfill facility by City of Courtenay staff to be composted.
A great outing for the whole family. Please call Warren at 250-338-8205 for more information.
— Comox Valley Land Trust