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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read