Restoration of Glenbrook Ravine Park, New Westminster

  • Melanie Apps University of Victoria


The Glenbrook Ravine Restoration Project in New Westminster is a locally born initiative formed on the strong foundation of community engagement and partnerships. The goal of this multi-year project is to reduce the amount of invasive Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and replace them with native plant species, enhancing the park for the community to enjoy. Running since 2017, the 2022 year saw a total of 304.40m2 cleared of invasive Himalayan blackberry and 133 native species planted to increase plant biodiversity in the park, subsequently bolstering fauna biodiversity in years to come. In November, twelve members of the New Westminster community and neighbouring municipalities participated in a willow staking workshop to plant 100 willow whips and help stabilize the restoration site’s slope. To assist future project leads and stakeholders, I made a restoration plan that includes a 10-year budget, annual timeline of duties, and a list of appropriate native species that can survive climate conditions that Metro Vancouver may see in 2050 and beyond. For future climate change conditions, I looked at research and climate predictions of Canada’s southwest coast and the Lower Mainland in the next 60 years (2080). While the climate niche for the majority of the Lower Mainland is not expected to change as much as some other parts of BC, extreme summer heat and drought periods are expected to increase as well as more frequent intense rainfall events outside of the summer months. Due to these harsher conditions, selecting hardy drought-tolerant species that can establish in the CWHdm zone, such as Douglas-fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and avoiding species that are seeing die-offs due to heat stress, including Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), is recommended. Current and future challenges during public restoration events include difficulty working on the slope due to its steepness, and volunteers facing difficulties telling the difference between Himalayan blackberry and similar-looking native plants in areas where both are growing side by side.

Technical Papers