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Project News

Lochside Pollinator Meadow

Saanich Native Plants has partnered with Peninsula Streams Society and Pollinator Partnership Canada to restore a half-acre Garry oak meadow along the Lochside Trail in Saanich. This project is supported by the North Quadra Community Association, Don Mann Excavating, and the landowner, BC Hydro.

An original site survey found very little existing native vegetation and few pollinators. The original top layer of soil had been removed and the area was primarily covered with invasive grasses. Don Mann mechanically removed the vegetation layer before we brought in new weed-free soil from Peninsula Landscape Supplies.

In September 2018,work started with local volunteers to condition the soil and plant more than 2,000 native plants. The restoration work also included broadcast seeding of additional native plants over the entire half-acre site and creating vernal pools and cobble mounds to increase plant diversity and bee-nesting habitat. The restored site provides essential habitat for threatened native pollinators and other local species, as well as an aesthetically pleasing and educational community space for local residents.

Visit the site and see the transformation of this beautiful pollinator meadow for yourself!


Helliwell Provincial Park, Hornby Island

Since 2015, Saanich Native Plants has been working with the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Parks, and the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team to help restore rare coastal meadow habitat in Helliwell Provincial Park, Hornby Island.

These open, shallow soil meadows have been degraded through decades of wildfire suppression, which has resulted in the encroachment of Douglas-fir forest into the meadow. The establishment of invasive non-native plant species also threatens this unique ecosystem. These habitat changes have resulted in the loss of native plant species and extirpation, or localized extinction, of the endangered Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly.

Saanich Native Plants provides expert advice to guide restoration activities for these coastal meadows. We also supply native plants and seeds to re-establish native vegetation, which will hopefully create a habitat that can once again support species like the Taylor’s Checkerspot.


Harvest4Knowledge

Harvest4Knowledge is a new project connecting students with Indigenous plant and traditional food knowledge on the territory of Lkwungen-speking Peoples, Songhees First Nation and Esquimalt First Nation. Six schools in school district 61 have received grants to build Indigenous native plant food gardens. 

The program is led by Farm2SchoolBC, School District 61 Aboriginal Nations Education Division, and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, with funding from the Horner Foundation.

We are helping in the project, along with others like the Habitat Acquisition Trust and Parks Canada.

These gardens include interpretive signage in both Lekwungen and English and QR codes so students can hear the plants spoken names’ in Lekwungen, while an online curriculum is being developed to support teachers and students. These gardens create interactive learning environments so students can connect with elders and knowledge-keepers and to learn about, harvest, and eat traditional plant foods and medicines.

So far, Saanich Native Plants has helped design and build Indigenous plant gardens at Victoria Highschool, Spectrum Community School, Shoreline Community Middle School, and Esquimalt High School.


 
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