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

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read