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

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read