Our new restoration guide, Restoring British Columbia's Garry Oak Ecosystems: Principles and Practices, is now available!
Even newer is our publication Best Management Practices for Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems, which provides guidance for anyone who owns, works in, lives in, or manages Garry oak habitat. View it here (PDF 2.4MB).
Garry oak ecosystems contain some of Canada’s most endangered habitats and species, and they’re unique to this region. What can a single landowner or community group do to make a difference? Actually, quite a lot.
You can help save these ecosystems by making changes to the land you manage—be it a small yard or a large acreage—that will add to the beauty and value of the land and benefit the many plants and animals that rely on Garry oak habitat.
We provide information on establishing, restoring and caring for Garry oak habitat for:
Whether you are starting from scratch, or maintaining or enhancing what you already have, we have plenty of helpful ‘getting started’ information, practical tips and lists of resources for extra help. You’ll find basic information on ways to:
You can make a big difference! Much of the surviving Garry oak habitat exists as small patches in private yards, gardens and rural lots, along with public lands. By restoring and caring for this habitat, even in a little corner of your property, you are helping to protect this natural treasure. And your efforts can have far-reaching positive effects; as others in your community and surrounding neighbourhoods protect and restore these areas, a patchwork quilt of connected Garry oak habitats forms across your region. Many plants and animals in Garry oak ecosystems need these connected habitats to survive and thrive.
Hundreds of volunteers and staff in parks, schools, and other public and private lands are working to remove invasive species and restore Garry oak habitat. Consider visiting one of the many restoration projects and places to visit or joining a volunteer restoration crew to gain some knowledge and experience that could help you with your own project.
Our publication, The Garry Oak Gardener’s Handbook is available as a free download on this site, and print copies are available by donation. In the handbook you will find tips on planning your native plant garden, removing invasive species, acquiring plants, mulching, caring for Garry oak trees, dealing with deer, and more, all with full-colour photos and plan drawings. And now you can learn more about growing native plants with our propagation guidelines.
If you have one of the few remaining intact fragments of Garry oak habitat, please consider protecting the future of your land by placing a covenant on it or donating it to a land trust to protect it in perpetuity. There are other protection options available and potential tax benefits as well. For information on legal protection of species at risk, please see Questions and Answers: Legislation and Policy for the Protection of Garry Oak Ecosystems (PDF 174KB).
See Land Development and Government for guidelines on protecting Garry oak areas during land development.