The Dale Park
For the past eight years, the LPPS has been working in five parks that are immediately adjacent to or nearby Lighthouse Park to remove invasive plants and prevent their spread into Lighthouse Park. The Dale is the last of the six parks for us to tackle. We hesitated to do much there before now because the steep slopes along the creek make many parts of the park inaccessible to volunteer work parties. So it made sense to work in the parks with easier terrain first. The Dale Park is a poster child for invasive plants.
Massive invasion by ivy and blackberries. Any native plants left?
Stream in deep gully is overgrown with blackberries. Steep rock cliff covered in blackberries and ivy. Snag has become a pillar of ivy.
Dumping of planters spreads lamium and ivy.
Bamboo, ivy, lamium
We began to work in earnest in The Dale in 2013. In February 2013, sixty-six Grade 6 Mulgrave students and their teachers worked in The Dale and removed an amazing 104 bags of English ivy!
Mulgrave students attack the ivy! February 2013
We find buried treasure too!
104 bags of ivy removed by Mulgrave students!
In December 2013 we received a very generous donation of $4000 from one of our members and a matching pledge for professional labour worth $2500 from another member. What a fantastic beginning! In July 2014 we were awarded a $5,000 grant from Canon’s Take Root program administered by Evergreen. Canon also gave us a free camera to document the volunteer events and the transformation of the park. In 2015 we received two more grants for this project - $5000 from the Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Friends of the Environment grant) and $500 from the District of West Vancouver (Community Grant Program). We greatly appreciate all of these grants and many generous donations from individual members.
About 75% of this 1-hectare park has been suitable for restoration by volunteers; the remaining 25% has steep terrain along Caulfeild Creek that has required professional services. We are partnering with the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society to restore Caulfeild Creek too.
We mapped the invasive plants throughout The Dale, created scale maps, and estimated the time required by volunteers and professionals to remove invasive plants and replant with native species.
Why were such detailed maps necessary this time? Because we needed to provide detailed plans and budgets in grant applications. Our other restoration projects never needed professional services beyond what the District of West Vancouver Parks staff could offer. This project is different, so we agreed to raise money to supplement assistance from the District. The professional services component of this multi-year project were estimated to cost around $15,000, plus another $15,000 for plants and other materials. We estimated needing about 2,000 hours of volunteer labour, an in-kind contribution of about $40,000, bringing the total project budget to about $70,000!
In the fall of 2014 we held seven work parties in the Dale, cleared invasive plants from approximately 3000 heavily infested square metres of park, and planted over 1000 native plants. We logged 455 hours of hands-on work done by our volunteers and 189 hours completed by profoessionals. The labour component alone (paid and volunteer) was worth $17,600. Phew, what an amazing two months!
In 2015 we held nine more volunteer events in the Dale. We tallied 650 hours of hands-on work with volunteers and 85 hours with professionals; we collectively cleared invasive plants from another 2800 square metres of the park and planted about 200 native plants. The labour component alone (paid and volunteer) was worth $15,300. The park has been transformed. This webpage will be updated soon with pictures showing before, during, and after our work.
We are in the home stretch now! In 2016, we have spreading soil and mulching this spring and then planting hundreds of new native plants in the fall. See Events page for more details.
We will continue applying for grants from other agencies and will earmark all other donations for this cause unless otherwise specified. As a registered charity, the LPPS is able to provide official donation receipts for tax purposes, so please keep us in mind!