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Longtime Oak Bay volunteer, leader earns award for Garry oak meadow work

Margaret Lidkea adds Acorn Award to her accolade stash
Margaret Lidkea with her Acorn Award given during the 15th annual Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team conference. (Courtesy Wylie Thomas)

A decorated environmental steward of Oak Bay earned yet another accolade, adding an Acorn Award to her cache.

Margaret Lidkea was a self-described free-range child who rode her bike from one park to the next in Victoria and Oak Bay. Now a grandmother, she continues to spend countless hours protecting and improving local parks, including Uplands and Anderson Hill – both home to Garry oak meadows.

After graduating as a teacher from the University of Victoria, within a few years she shifted from teaching to work as a programmer at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary in 1988.

Soon after that Lidkea created an entire Girl Guides program teaching which plants to protect and which to pull. Then she and a friend co-founded the Friends of Uplands Park that continues to pull invasive species such as Scotch broom and gorse from area parks to this day.

She was honoured with the Acorn Award during the 15th annual conference of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recover Team held Oct. 14.

The first conference since 2019 and was well attended with more than 140 people on hand to recognize peers for their outstanding contributions to Garry oak ecosystem restoration.

Lidkea was recognized for her educational work instilling a love and passion for nature in children and adults.

Because of the gap in conferences, two other Greater Victoria residents received Acorn Awards. Hans Roemer was recognized for his contributions to botany and Colleen O’Brien for her work restoring the Garry oak meadows and Yellow Montane Violet population in Playfair Park.

The annual conference brings together researchers, practitioners, governments, community and students who are actively involved or interested in restoring Garry oak ecosystems and ensuring the survival of this important part of the planet’s natural heritage.

READ ALSO: Uplands Park champion to earn provincial award

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