Lora Morandin, program manager in western Canada for the Pollinator Partnership, stands in a meadow near Lochside Trail that will undergo restoration later this summer. She is holding up a sweat bee. It – unlike the familiar honey bee – is native to the region and the pending restoration of the meadow promises to improve the number of native pollinators like the sweat bee, boosting ecological health and food production. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Buzz of activity fills Saanich meadow

Restoration efforts will remove invasive species near Lochside Trail

To the untrained eye, a small meadow along the Lochside Trail looks like an ordinary patch of overgrown grass.

But for Lora Morandin, program manager for Pollinator Partnership, it is full of invasive plant species that have undermined local ecological diversity.

With the exception of a few native grasses, shrubs and trees, invasive species have overrun the meadow. Once part of the Garry oak ecosystem that used to define the region, its defining feature is a transmission line tower. Later this summer though, efforts will get underway to restore the meadow by planting hundreds of native plants and a substantial variety of native plant seeds.

Ian Bruce, executive director of the Peninsula Streams Society, said the restoration will start in late August and continue through September.

“It will take about two years to fully bloom,” he said.

But it will be worth the wait.

For one, it will have esthetic benefits, he said. “I hope that people will learn more about an ecosystem that we used to have more of, and appreciate it.”

Morandin said it will help local insect and bird populations to flourish, as the current state of the meadow is not very attractive to those populations.

“Native pollinators are keystone species,” she said. “They are needed to pollinate flowers, but they are also needed as food for other animals. So we are trying to increase insects and help the ecosystem.”

Benefactors of this restoration effort will include farmers in nearby Blenkinsop Valley. They will benefit from the increase in pollinator species that the meadow will attract, thereby helping to ensure crop production.

Students attending nearby Reynolds secondary school will also benefit by learning more about pollinators and associated plants. In fact, some have already begun lending a hand by helping Morandin survey the pollinator species using the meadow. This involves hovering over sections of meadow and recording insect species.

With their help, Morandin will be able to compare and contrast the number of pollinator species before and after the restoration. The meadow will also serve as a living lab for future students attending Reynolds.

Interpretive signs will offer additional information to the public, said Bruce.

Funding for the restoration project comes from a range of sources. They include the Victoria Real Estate Board ($5,000), a provincial community gaming grant ($5,000), BC Hydro ($10,000) and Don Mann Construction, who will contribute $20,000 in kind towards the project.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Victoria man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

Saanich mayor pitches former Emily Carr library as housing site

Residents share concerns, support over Regina Park tent city

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged Victoria fentanyl dealer

Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to the investigation

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read