Participants attend a workshop at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in Duncan where they learn how to help clear in-grown trees from a meadow area. The event is part of the Garry Oak Marathon, a series of regional events to fight invasive species and protect and restore Garry oak ecosystems. (Photo by NCC)

The race to protect Garry oak ecosystems is a marathon

Series of spring events Garry oak events across the region

The race to preserve the native Garry oak habitat in the face of invasive species is about time and consistent effort. For the second year in a row, the Nature Conservancy’s Garry Oak Meadow Marathon centralizes the myriad spring conservation efforts underway to preserve Garry oak meadows.

“We took a look around at all these events happening, put on by different groups, and we thought we could create this umbrella to group them under,” said Nature Conservancy spokesperson Lesley Neilson. “We asked ourselves, ‘Why are we all doing this indendently?”

READ MORE: Saanich postpones plans for rezoning and subdivsion over Garry oak trees

On Sunday the Nature Conservancy held a Garry oak conservation workshop at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in Duncan as part of the marathon events calendar.

Events are hosted throughout the winter and spring by Saanich Parks, Saanich Native Plants, Haliburton Farm, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, Greater Victoria Green Teams, CRD Regional Parks, Parks Canada, Habitat Acquisition Trust, the Friends of Uplands Park, Salt Spring Island Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

So far it’s been a slow start due to the snowy weather, Neilson said.

“It’s been a tough go. The unusually snowy February has impacted the events, some were canceled and rescheduled… but things are getting going now,” she said.

READ ALSO: Highlands landowners being called on to bash broom

“We’re all doing it because it’s a really important and rare ecosystem that’s only found on the Southern Island and Gulf Islands, and only five per cent is left, it’s very important to our area.”

As a metaphor, the term marathon aptly describes the commitment needed to rid an area of invasive plants so the native plants can thrive again, Neilson explained.

“The main thing we do is remove invasives and they’re really hard to get rid of,” she said. “You have to keep going back at it, remove what you can, get the roots out, and over time you can win but it really does take a sustained effort.”

“If we can talk about it as a group then our voice is a little bit louder, and we can raise that much more awareness. Nature’s resilient and through these restoration efforts we really can keep what we have and bring even more back, if we make the decision and put in the effort to do so.”

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PRIDE on the Barge caps off last Friday of Pride Month

Starting at 5 p.m. with music from Rocksteady

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read