Editorial: Well-meaning intentions gone awry

While likely well-meaning, efforts to add to Uplands Park miss the mark

Contrary to the yahoos who felt the need not only to damage the painted piano at Cattle Point over the Labour Day weekend,  but to steal the specially made piano cover Oak Bay re-uses each summer – something that can be of little use to anyone else –  we assume those who “volunteered” 24 fir trees into Uplands Park believed they were doing good.

Ecologist Wylie Thomas spends countless hours determining where in Uplands Park to focus attention in the ongoing battle to protect endangered native plants.

And while fir trees are indeed native to the region, they will also push out Garry oaks in that ecosystem, Thomas notes, pointing to North Cowichan’s Mount Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve as an example.

“They’ve gone in and actually girdled some naturally occurring Douglas firs because they’re moving in and pushing out the Garry oak meadows.”

Other plants “volunteered” into the Uplands Park over the years include new crocosmia, crocus, iris, grape hyacinth and daffodils, all likely planted with good intentions.

However, Thomas points to the spring-blooming daffodils in Beacon Hill as an example of how an introduced species has greatly reduced the number of native camas growing in that park.

Fortunately, many opportunities exist for those who would like to lend a hand to beautify local parks, including Uplands. Volunteers work tirelessly to remove invasive Daphne, English ivy and Scotch broom, and would undoubtedly welcome more hands to the task.

And to those who know the whereabouts of the missing piano cover, perhaps another late-night escapade can have you return it – and do some good with your time.