Cattle Point focus of latest Uplands restoration funds

Returning planst found with invasives gone in Uplands Park

Cattle Point bears the brunt of the work in the ongoing project to protect and restore Uplands Park this year.

Last summer, the federal Habitat Stewardship Fund of Environment and Climate Change Canada, ($100,000 over three years) supported hiring a summer crew to remove invasive plants from the park, formalizing trails, installing signage and adding native plants.

“We focussed on Cattle Point this year,” said botanist Wylie Thomas, a contractor who leads the work in Uplands. They targeted incasvie trees such as holly and English hawthorn, hacking up enough stuff that Oak Bay Parks hauled away the 66 cubic yards of chipped material.

The volunteers through Friends of Uplands Park exposed vast amounts of ground through routine events to pull ivy from the brush areas of Cattle Point.

“The municipality is so appreciative of all the volunteers. We couldn’t do anything like the amount we do without them,” said Chris Hyde-Lay, manager of parks for Oak Bay.

The sweeping swatches of ground ivy suffocating trees is being decimated through the weekly No Ivy League, countless school groups and other Friends of Uplands Park working groups and events. “School groups have been instrumental in removing ivy,” said Margaret Lidkea, chair of FOUP.

“The ivy’s moving into those maritime meadows,” Thomas said. “We’ve got through a big wooded area, it’s really impressive.”

The plan is to see no ivy on the water side of the parking lot at Cattle Point.

“When all of the invasives are removed it’s really impressive what you find coming back,” Hyde-Lay said.

For example, Wylie discovered a pair of new, or returning, plants to the park while working alongside the staffers last summer. Only because he was in the field working with the crew does he figure he found the Epilobium densiflosum that hasn’t been seen in the park since 1991. He found it found growing in an area where native plantings were added, so it could have been reintroduced incidentally.

“it used to be al over the park,” Wylie said.

He also discovered a new location of Graceful Cinquefoil in the eastern part of the park.

Visit friendsofuplandspark.org to learn more about ongoing events, and work, in Uplands Park.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com