Proceedings Now Published
The Proceedings for the GOERT 13th Research Colloquium 2017 are available as of January 30, 2018.
Nature is a great teacher. This fall, ten of Daniel Farrow’s grade 4-8 students from Hornby Island Community School learned how people and nature can work together to rejuvenate a coastal bluff meadow in Helliwell Provincial Park.
The first task was to prepare the site by removing unwanted plants. The students pulled a lot of weeds, including 127 Hairy Cat’s Ear, 2 Bull Thistles, and 89 clumps of non-native grass. Then, with guidance from BC Parks staff (Conservation Specialist Erica McClaren and Senior Park Ranger Jason Straka), they installed native plants that were grown by The Hornby Island Natural History Society. According to Erica, “it was wonderful to have the Natural History Society and local community school kids involved in the habitat restoration work in Helliwell. The kids worked really hard and I think they enjoyed it too.” They planted 177 Blue Wildrye, 131 California Brome, and 99 Woolly Sunflower plants!
The event was part of an on-going effort to enhance the coastal bluff habitat for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife. There have been several other weeding and planting sessions since the restoration project began in the spring of 2015. The most recent work occurred in early November. Kristen and James Miskelly of Saanich Native Plants Nursery and Consulting weeded the site and planted 13 indigenous species, such as Common Camas, Wild Strawberry, Hairy Paintbrush, Yarrow, and several types of native grass. Additional planting and weeding is planned for 2018.
The lack of natural forest fires has caused coastal bluff ecosystems to become shaded out by tree ingrowth. Therefore, part of the Helliwell Provincial Park restoration work involves tree limbing and selective tree removal. There will be more of these habitat maintenance activities in January and the fall of 2018.
For more information about the restoration project, or to volunteer, please contact: Erica McClaren (BC Parks Conservation Specialist) at 250-337-2427, or Derek Moore (BC Parks Areas supervisor for Von Donop Area) at 250-337-2410.
Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)
13th Annual Research Colloquium Draft Program and Registration
What: 13th Annual GOERT Research Colloquium
When: Friday November 17th, 2017, 9am–4:30pm
Where: University of Victoria, Cadboro Commons
GOERT has again partnered with the Restoration of Natural Systems Program at the University of Victoria for its Research Colloquium. This year it will be held on Friday, November 17th, at the university. The theme will be: “New Ways of Understanding Garry Oak Ecosystems.” We will look at the Garry Oak Ecosystem as a layered landscape that has been shaped by its historical context and how contemporary social priorities are shaping its future. Also, how citizen science is being used to help understand and restore Garry Oak ecosystems.
We’ll present some of the latest research and projects including the importance of new technology, project updates (recovery planning, bluebirds and Somenos), the use of native vegetation in restoration projects and a look at other endangered ecosystems (sand dunes) for common challenges and solutions. Resilience theory, novel ecosystems and ecological thresholds are hot topics.
As in the past, the purpose of the GOERT Colloquium is to bring together people who are planning or conducting research and restoration projects relevant to Garry Oak Ecosystems and have them present brief descriptions of their studies and results to prompt discussion and encourage coordination and collaboration among groups.
Registration: E-mail your name & address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $30 individual, $15 student, $50 non-governmental non-profit group
(3 individuals max), includes lunch and refreshments.
Payment: Cash/cheque at the door or request an invoice.
Note, the Proceedings are now available:
Exciting new partnership between GOERT and the Garry Oaks Winery on Salt Spring Island
Nalini Samuel, the new owner of Garry Oaks Winery on Salt Spring Island, is devoted to making fine wines and to giving back to the community.
In recognition of her winery’s namesake and the huge old Garry oaks growing behind the wine tasting room, Nalini has decided to contribute a dollar from every person who does a wine tasting at the winery to GOERT. She calls it “Put a cork in it” and each person is given a cork after the wine tasting which she or he puts into a glass vase under a poster board that illustrates the attributes of Garry oak ecoystems and how GOERT is moving to protect them. Once a month, she will add up the corks and donate to GOERT.
She is also contributing white wine to the opening of our upcoming art show at the Bateman Gallery, “Rooted in History, Celebrating the Garry oak ecosystem”. Many thanks to Nalini.
At times in February and March it didn’t seem like spring was in any hurry to return to Denman Island. The seasons are finally changing and with any luck you may see rare Taylor’s Checkerspot butterflies flitting about the Island soon. Butterfly watchers were encouraged by relatively large numbers of the Endangered butterflies that they saw a few weeks after the release of nearly 1,300 captive reared larvae last year. Hopefully many of their offspring have survived the recent wintry weather. On March 15th the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project Team (TCBRT) released another 255 larvae that overwintered at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
Prior to the larval release, Denman Island volunteers from the TCBRT’s Community Working Group, contractors and BC Parks staff spent several days enhancing butterfly habitat in parts of Denman Park and Protected Area. They removed brush and other vegetation that was shading open areas that the butterflies require, and installed plants such as native strawberries, yarrow and speedwell to provide food for larvae and nectar sources for the adults. Similar work was also done on lands managed by the Denman Conservancy Association and a few private properties.
The Taylor’s Checkerspot Recovery Project is supported by the BC Ministry of Environment and BC Parks, Denman Conservancy Association, Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Wildlife Preservation Canada, and many volunteers. If you wish to become a project volunteer, or you see Taylor’s Checkerspot larvae or butterflies on Denman Island, please contact Deborah Bishop.