New Brighton Park Restoration – March 30th, 2022 Update

New Brighton Park Restoration – March 30th, 2022 Update

Report & Photos submitted by Nigel Peck

It has now bee just over two months since we began the restoration initiative at New Brighton Park in Vancouver’s northeast corner of the city, just next to the Ironworkers’ Second Narrows Bridge. We began with the removal of invasive Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry from the hillock just to the west of the free-run dog park at New Brighton Park. 

It has been a great success with the removal of not only all of the Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry in New Brighton, but with the expansion of the project to include Port of Vancouver property in the vegetated strip which lies between the park boundary and the tractor/trailer staging lot.

Nature Vancouver’s status as an independent society was particularly beneficial when it was realized that all the park’s invasive species could be cleared but the area would be immediately reseeded by the same invasive species which were growing on Port of Vancouver property just metres away and separated by only by a chain link fence.  

Recognizing this problem, we contacted the Port and were able to meet with the Port of Vancouver Manager of Infrastructure Habitat Development, Charlotte Olson at the site on Feburary 10th to survey the amount of invasive broom and blackberry.  On seeing the situation, Charlotte applied for special permit to allow Nature Vancouver volunteers to enter Port property to continue our removal efforts on the Port side.

One unexpected byproduct of the collaboration occurred when Charlotte suggested that NV was benefitting the Port by removing the invasive plants and that we should bill them for work.  This in turn resulted in the generous payment tof $5000 to Nature Vancouver which has been used to purchase equipment to augment tools loaned by the Vancouver Parks Board, and to add to the Nature Vancouver conservation fund.

It is quite impressive how much has been accomplished in such a short time.  Thirty nine people have volunteered during ten separate ‘work party days’, many volunteering multiple times, and several as many as six to eight separate volunteer days for a cumulative total of 94 ‘work days’. The apostrophe symbols are added as our ‘work day’ is typically only two and a half hours, often from noon until two thirty in the afternoon.  

The period is short because the work is intense and quite physically demanding, particularly for the initial invasive plant removal work. Two and a half hours seems to be just the right amount of time for a ‘get-at-it’ work party.  We do take a break half way through for cinnamon rolls and tea, often with great discussion whether Solly’s or Grounds for Coffee cinnamon rolls are the best.  We even had a ‘roll-off’ event one day with both being offered but were unable to come to any sort of meaningful consensus.  

The intensity of volunteer work days is lightening up however as we have moved beyond the invasive removal stage of the restoration project to the planting stage. March 12th saw a significant milestone when we cleared the last invasive Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry from the hillock on park property. Then on March 26th, 14 individuals led by Ian Clague, Fred Hornby and Greg Letch not only started a new phase with the planting of thirty native rose bushes in clumps on the hillock, but also removed the last of the Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry from the Port ‘strip’.

This coming Saturday, April 2nd will be another significant step forward with not only the planting of 250 native Nodding Onions, Wooly Sunflowers, and Pearly Everlastings on the eastern slope of the Park hillock but another 25 Nootka Roses and 100 native flowering Douglas Aster and Goldenrod native flowering perennials on the Port Property.

The following two Saturdays on April 9th and 16th will see the delivery and planting of another 500 transplants. Looking into the spring and summer we foresee continued but smaller scale blackberry removal and, dependent on the heat and dryness of the summer, a program to water the seedlings to maximize their survival into the next year.  They are small transplants right now but we look forward to a sea of colour in the summer and seasons to come.

This has been an inspiring project – one which everyone who has helped out with has enjoyed, and one which all Nature Vancouver members should be proud of. If you’re interested in getting involved, we could use your help!  For more information about upcoming dates or general details, please contact or

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