Thousands of years of Beacon Hill Park revealed

The 23rd annual Camas Day delves into park's natural Garry Oak ecosystem

Beacon Hill Park has changed drastically over the last 200 centuries, and Victoria archaeologist Grant Keddie wants to tell you all about it.

The 23rd annual Camas Day is back and a crack team of local experts will be on hand April 26 to teach amateur naturalists of all about the park’s natural Garry Oak ecosystem.

“It’s perfect for newbies who want to know about our local history,” says Keddie, who’s acted as archaeological tour-guide for Victoria’s Indiana Jones wannabes since the first Camas Day in 1991.

“I give a big-picture overview of the natural landscape over the last 22,000 years and talk about what we know about humans in pre-historic times. ”

Park visitors will be in good hands, as Keddie probably knows the park as well as anyone alive. In 1986, after a team of city workers nearly destroyed a First Nations burial site at the park, Keddie personally directed the replacement of each and every stone.

“We put [the stones] back in circles exactly as described by colonists in the 1800s. I’ll talk about those on the tour and I’ll explain how that fits into First Nations history.”

For those whose interests fall outside the realm of archaeology, don’t worry; there is something to satisfy every nature lover on Camas Day.

Rick Schortinghuis, of the Victoria Natural History Society will be on hand to explain everything you need to know about birds in the park, while Claudia Copely, resident entomologist at the Royal B.C. Museum, will answer any questions about insects. If wild flowers are your niche, have no fear. Paul Spriggs, a native plant expert, will show off his comprehensive knowledge of the local fauna.

Some of the walks will be repeated during morning and afternoon sessions. Visit for a full schedule.