Victoria’s native plant watchdog retires after 28 years

Wildlife was also on city parks employee Fred Hook's watch list

Fred Hook gestures to heron nesting trees in Beacon Hill Park. Hook retired recently as an environmental technician with the city.

Fred Hook gestures to heron nesting trees in Beacon Hill Park. Hook retired recently as an environmental technician with the city.

Many Victorians might recognize him as the big-bearded man keeping careful track of Cooper hawks and herons and reporting out nesting sites to the media each summer.

Behind the scenes, Fred Hook did much more as Victoria’s environmental technician.

“(He) should take a lot of the credit for making Beacon Hill Park that special place,” City of Victoria parks director Kate Friars said.

Hook retired two weeks ago after 28 years with the city.

“He went without any fanfare whatsoever,” Friars said. “It was his choice. He will be very sorely missed.”

As environmental technician, Hook managed invasive species and the naturalization of areas in the park.

rholmen@vicnews.com