January 2008: GOERT is pleased to present an Acorn Award to volunteer Moralea Milne. While juggling numerous volunteer projects in her home community of Metchosin, Moralea takes the time to lend her considerable expertise and enthusiasm to two of our working groups: the Native Plant Propagation Steering Committee and the Invasive Species Steering Committee.
Moralea has recently placed a conservation covenant on about 7 hectares (16.75 acres) of Garry oak habitat on Camas Hill in Metchosin, where endangered sharp-tailed snakes and blue-listed branded skipper butterflies have been found, among other rare species. “My husband, John Webb, and I worked together towards placing a covenant on a significant portion of our property and I regret that he was not here to see it through. He really loved Camas Hill, and one of his enduring legacies will be its protection.” To read more about the Camas Hill covenant, see HAT Chat, the newsletter of Habitat Acquisition Trust: “Beyond Land Care: Camas Hill Residents Leave a Legacy” (p.5).
Moralea is a member of the Native Plant Study Group, the Native Plant Society of BC, Victoria Natural History Society, Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee, the Metchosin Foundation, Green and Blue Spaces Strategy Committee in Metchosin, the Association for the Protection of a Rural Metchosin, and an ‘Orphan Garden Rescue’ group for municipal gardens that have succumbed to neglect. She also finds the energy to produce a newsletter, arrange two speaker series, and write for a local paper.
“My hardest volunteer commitments might be finding and coordinating speakers for the Metchosin Talk and Walk events and the Native Plant Study Group. I think people run a mile when they see me coming, knowing I am going to ask them to do something for free!”
A graduate of the Restoration of Natural Systems Program at UVic, Moralea leads a group that removes invasive Scotch broom from Devonian Regional Park in Metchosin (all of the persistent broom has been removed at least twice and in some cases three times, taking 1,934 volunteer hours to date), and plants and maintains gardens on Metchosin municipal grounds and at Metchosin Community House to demonstrate the value of using native plants in horticulture.
“I believe passionately in leaving a legacy of caring for our environment. I think you have to show people that you can do the actual physical work to gain their respect. Besides, it’s fun. People who care about native plants and conservation of our ecosystems all seem to be pretty easy to get along with. I have made many friends through these ‘good works’ and there is never a moment to get bored!”
Moralea, a proud mother of four grown children and a grandmother of two, can now add her Acorn Award to her Friend of the Earth Award (2002) and her Volunteer of the Year Award (2006) (both from District of Metchosin Council). Congratulations and thank you Moralea, for your dedication to Garry oak ecosystems recovery!
‘Devonian Devotees’ in photo are:
Back from left: Katy Nelson, Thomas Munson, Roger St. Pierre, Ged Dady
Front: Moralea Milne, Abby St. Pierre, Gail Austin
Group members missing from photo: Joel Ussery, and Bill and Linda Cave.