Green team gains momentum in Victoria

Group has attracted more than 1,000 volunteers in 18 months.

The Greater Victoria Green Team (GVGT) is Victoria’s only region-wide environmental volunteer group and, although it’s a relatively new player in the community, its mandate and message has resonated with Victoria’s volunteers.

The group was launched in 2014 and in just over 18 months it has attracted more than 1,000 volunteers who participate in a variety of environmentally-friendly projects in Victoria and the surrounding areas.

Operating under the auspices of Green Team Canada, the GVGT provides a hands-on approach to environmental stewardship, habitat restoration and education.

“It all started four years ago with one volunteer in Vancouver,” said Amanda Evans, GVGT program manager.

“Now we have an army of volunteers here in Victoria and we’ve managed to undertake over a hundred activities this year alone.”

Evans said more than half of the volunteers come to the organization without having volunteered for any environmental movement in the past.

A recent example of a green team project took place in late February when a cadre of GVGT volunteers went to Mason Street City Farm where they helped prepare the land for this season’s crops.

The farm is only three blocks from city hall; a quarter acre urban farm where food is grown to supply local restaurants.

“It was a great opportunity for us,” said Evans.

“We got to contribute toward this environmentally-friendly operation, and our volunteers had the chance to learn all about urban farming. They can take what they learned back to their own homes where, hopefully, they can put some of the same principles into action.”

The group has also helped plant 6,600 native plants in an effort to re-establish them back to their natural environments. At the same time, volunteers have removed 32,000 kilograms of invasive plants.

“We work collaboratively with municipal parks and other organizations, helping them do the projects that line up with our mandate,” said Evans.

“There’s never a lack of projects out there, and we’re just happy to be a part of making Victoria a better, more environmentally friendly, place.”

For more information, visit the website at meetup.com/Greater-Victoria-Green-Team/.