Lower Mainland Green Team: 2013 Group Hometown Heroes Winner

Surrey, BC

The Lower Mainland  Green TeamThe Lower Mainland Green Team (LMGT) is a volunteer group that connects community members with nature and mobilizes them to take action to improve the quality of fragile ecosystems in local parks.

Over the last two years, LMGT has been building the first Lower Mainland-wide stewardship volunteer group to remove invasive plants, plant native plants and trees and pick up litter on shorelines and in riparian habitats in parks. At non-profit farms, LMGT prepares and harvests vegetables for families with low incomes to connect them to local fresh food.

Since its inception, LMGT has grown to over 1,500 volunteers, run 75 stewardship/habitat restoration events in 11 Lower Mainland municipalities, removed 50,000 lbs. of invasive plants, planted 2,946 native plants and trees, removed 2,033 lbs. of garbage, harvested 702 vegetables, and prepared vegetable beds at five farms. In 2012, they launched a pilot youth and at-risk youth focused event and have run nine stewardship events, four of which were youth-led, engaging 120 youth.

Understanding the importance of collaboration in helping to improve the quality of park ecosystems, LMGT has partnered with the Pacific Parklands Foundation to help raise funds and has built relationships with 31 other community groups to run its events.

LMGT uses an innovative social media site to attract new volunteers. Volunteers are appreciated on the site and are shown the impact they have made on the environment through before and after photos and regular reports online. LMGT has led the way using social media to build the largest conservation volunteer group in British Columbia and has made a significant positive impact on the environment and on communities in the Lower Mainland. To learn more about LMGT, watch this video.

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