A swarm of business volunteers in green T-shirts descended on a nook of Anderson Hill Park to replace damaging ivy with native plants.
“We’re planting oak trees, Oregon grape, some camas, lilies – essentially restoring a little pocket of the Garry oak meadow ecosystem here in Anderson Hill Park. It’s an endangered ecosystem and one of its biggest threats are invasive plants,” said Bill Stephen, coordinator with Tree Canada, Vancouver Island region.
Garry oak ecosystems are among the most endangered in Canada. These complex landscapes provide a rich habitat for wildlife and have provided resources for food, medicines and tools for humans for millennia. With less than five per cent of Garry oak ecosystems remaining, ensuring they are conserved and managed is crucial to sustaining their existence.
Tree Canada, Oak Bay and Schneider Electric teamed up for the initiative. Schneider is in its second year working with Tree Canada – planting in five different communities this year. The company has longstanding volunteer initiatives around the country, a big one being Habitat for Humanity, said Kevin Morin, director of energy services. It’s all part of giving back to the community where staff work and live.
Tree Canada works with business, schools and any group that wants to give, across the country. The organization has worked with volunteers to plant about 83 million trees since inception in 1992.
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