LEPS staff Britney Birkenstock and Michael Inniss with Michael Inniss. They gathered past weekend to remove invasive plants at the Steele Park in the community of North Otter in the Salmon River watershed. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

LEPS staff Britney Birkenstock and Michael Inniss with Michael Inniss. They gathered past weekend to remove invasive plants at the Steele Park in the community of North Otter in the Salmon River watershed. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

LEPS joins ‘Movember’ mental-well being movement

Engages community and brings them closer to nature

Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) is just $150 shy of its Movember fundraiser goal.

The society is encouraging the public to come out and help them eliminate invasive species from Langley parks and nearby areas to raise funds for men’s health causes.

Movember is a movement to change the face of men’s health. This time of year, many men grow their moustaches to raise funds and awareness about mental health, suicide, as well as testicular and prostate cancer.

Locally, in support of the movement, LEPS is hosting its Movember events at Steele Park in the community of North Otter in the Salmon River watershed.

The organization plans on engaging the community and bringing them closer to nature.

Two weekends in a row, participants are getting together to pull ivy, invasive blackberries, and more.

This past weekend, Nov. 19 and 20, a few people – including a member of Salmon River Enhancement Society – joined LEPS to pull ivy and learn about its impact on the environment.

Alexandra Falconer, garden programs coordinator at LEPS, said the event was not only about tackling invasive species but also getting people out to improve their mental health.

She thanked those who attended the first weekend’s events and and is hoping for more to join this coming weekend.

The next event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26 and 27.

“Ivy is great for the whole family to pull. There is no need for special equipment, but we will have some tools on hand because the ivy that grows in this park has some sort of unique glue and it is almost impossible to get off trees. We will be bringing clean gloves as well but please feel free to bring your own work gloves,” explained Lisa Dreves, LEPS’ stewardship coordinator.

She also described the event as a great way to improve mental well-being.

Dreves is participating in the fundraiser in honour of her dad, who committed suicide at the age of 48.

“I strongly feel if he had been part of a community that was connected to action and volunteerism he would still be here.”

Her two sons, too, are supporting the cause.

“I hope [my children] grow up happy and strong enough to ask for help.”

Those interested in attending the event are recommended to wear boots, as the site has a few puddles. The area is also known as a great place to find Christmas trees, as there are a few farms in the area.

People can support the movement by donating through the LEPS fundraising page, movember.com.

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RELATED: Langley environmental group to engage the community of gardeners

READ MORE: Who got the best blackberry recipe? LEPS wants to know

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Gerry Reist, the director of the Salmon River Enhancement Society joined LEPS past weekend to remove invasive plants at the Steele Park in the community of North Otter in the Salmon River watershed. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gerry Reist, the director of the Salmon River Enhancement Society joined LEPS past weekend to remove invasive plants at the Steele Park in the community of North Otter in the Salmon River watershed. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

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