The first phase of Coastal Bluff / Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems restoration work at Helliwell Provincial Park is nearly complete. A 0.35 ha area of young Douglas-fir trees were removed from the park in March 2015 and a variety of native plants were planted within these areas. Tree removal was used to emulate fire disturbance which once kept the coastal bluff area of Helliwell as open grassland meadows. Several unique and rare species are associated with the open ecological communities and we are hopeful this project will help maintain these species as well as restore habitat that once existed for species we have lost in Helliwell such as Taylor’s Checkerspot butterflies.
There is still much work ahead of us in this project including ongoing planting of native species, removal of invasive species, interpretive signage and delineation of the restoration area through a similar technique, ropes and weights, used in the rest of Helliwell to delineate boundaries. We are planning on hosting a community outreach event to hear your thoughts on this project in August. If you are interested in assisting with this project, or if you have any questions, please contact: Derek Moore: 250-337-2410 or Erica McClaren: 250-337-2427.