Help Habitat Acquisition Trust win $10,000 for nature with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge!

giving challengeWe would like to to tell you about the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! Habitat Acquisition Trust hopes that you can help us to inspire our fellow Canadians to say YES to charitable giving this June, a time when giving reaches its lowest levels.

Summer is such a wonderful time in Canada – great weather and longer days mean more fun outdoor activities, weekends away, BBQs and much more. It’s easy for Canadians to forget to support their favourite charities and causes, and to give back to the natural areas we deriver such joy from visiting. To help save charities coast-to-coast from the summer-giving drought, CanadaHelps and The GIV3 Foundation have launched the third annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge.

What is The Great Canadian Giving Challenge?

It is a National public contest for charities. Through this contest Every $1 donated to a Habitat Acquisition Trust in June via CanadaHelps.org, automatically enters your local land trust to win an additional $10,000 donation for nature. Wow! The minimum applicable donation is $3. That means for $3 you are giving local wildlife a big chance at greater protection. The grand prize draw is on Canada Day and we would like to celebrate with you.

With your special June donation our charity will be able to better serve our community for nature preservation and knowledge-building. That's something to celebrate! 

Make a donation online today and amplify the protection of nature. 

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Eagles Lake Western Painted Turtle Habitat Enhancement

small wpt eagles lake weedingAs it turns out, Eagles Lake is not just for the eagles. Habitat Acquisition Trust has teamed up with the Highlands district to enhance the space of the resident Western Painted Turtles. 

The first step taken was installing basking logs that the endangered turtles will use to maintain their ideal body heat, important to their survival. 

Next, the Habitat Acquisition Trust team removed weedy plants from the shoreline. Excessive weed growth can get in the way of turtles looking for a space to nest. Finally, they spread some nice sandy soil. This substrate offers the turtles the right kind of material for digging a nest in. 

small wpt eagles lake spreading soil John PotterTurtle tips: in the spring, especially on warm days, keep an eye out for Western Painted Turtle Activity. Turtles can easily become road kill and baby turtles among the grass stand no chance against a lawnmower. If you spot a turtle in the road, you can help move it to safety. It's best to move the turtle safely away from the side of the road in the direction it was headed. Otherwise, it may attempt to cross again.

If you would like to help with turtle habitat restoration Habitat Acquisition Trust and CRD Parks are teaming up to remove invasive vegetation (primarily thistles) from nesting habitat along Beaver Lake. This event takes place Tuesday 23 May 2017 06:30pm - 09:00pm. The meeting location is the Equestrian Centre parking lot at Beaver Lake. Please RSVP with Colleen Long This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A special thanks to volunteer John Potter for giving his time and energy to the turtle enhancement. Keep an eye out on Shaw TV to see Paige Erickson-McGee, Habitat Acquisition Trust's Stewardship Cooridnator speaking about this project.

small wpt eagles lake Paige and Shaw TV

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A nice day at Ruby Creek

Written by Royal Roads Service Learning Course Student and Habitat Acquisition Trust Volunteer Sherry Guo

On May 6th, 27 Habitat Acquisition Trust volunteers joined together near Witty's Lagoon to have an invasive plant removal day. Volunteers met together at a conservation covenant protected by HAT and CRD and learned about the removal of invasive Laurel-leaved Daphne and Himalayan Blackberry. Their tasks were the removal of these plants and a slug walk, with hopes of finding the rare Blue-grey Taildropper Slug.

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The sun was shining bright and all of us met to have breakfast, then work together to clean out those Laurel-leaved Daphne, which is an evergreen shrub that thrives on the shady forest floor throughout south Vancouver Island. Since the Daphne has toxins that are concentrated in the bark, sap, and berries, everyone wore long sleeves and long pants and sturdy shoes and were careful when working with the troublesome plant. Though it was a sunny day, it was nice and cool in the forest. Volunteers did a great job on cleaning those toxic Daphne, removing almost an entire 10 yard bin full of invasive plants. This bin was generously supplied by Sooke Disposal. Thank you Sooke Disposal!

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After lunch, Biologist Kristiina Ovaska did a gastropod walk with all the volunteers, searching for the elusive Blue-grey Taildropper Slug. Though we did not find those blue-grey ones, we found other kinds of slugs and had a chance to learn about the beauties and mysteries of nature.

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At the end of the day, we cleaned a large area of Daphne near the Witty's Lagoon and it was a great and nicely organized volunteer experience to meet people from all different places together. Everybody helped to throw over 10 garbage bags of Daphne to the waste bin before they left. It is a meaningful task to sustain the ecological diversity and protect the nature here.

 c150ltabcSIGN 002Habitat Acquisition Trust is grateful to the Land Trust Alliance of BC for sponsoring this event in celebration of Canada's 150th. Thank you to The Nest Cafe for sponsoring this event with pastries, we love that you care about your community! Our next habitat restoration event with be held in September, if you would like to get regular updates please sign up here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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HAT Summer Jobs - Join the Team!

Join the HAT Team this Summer 2017.

We have two positions available: Land Protection Intern and Conservation Intern, and we're looking for hard-working, enthusiastic people to support our programs in conservation. See details below and apply by Friday, May 12.


Job Posting: Conservation Intern

Duration: 9 weeks, starting mid/late-May, 2017, (with possibility of 3 week extension)

Wage: $14 per hour, 37.5 hours per week

Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is a Victoria-based land trust working with our community to protect habitat from Sooke to Galiano Island. Our mission is to conserve natural spaces on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands through land acquisition, legal protection of private land, education, and stewardship programs. We work closely with community groups, government, individual landowners, and conservation organisations to coordinate effective habitat protection projects.

HAT is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated person to help coordinate and deliver our stewardship projects this summer. The Conservation Intern will work on several of HAT’s projects including the Good Neighbours Project and Species at Risk outreach. The Conservation Intern will work closely with HAT’s Stewardship and Community & Development Coordinator. This internship presents many opportunities for the interns to work outdoors, learn new skills, to be creative with independent projects, and to make lasting connections with the conservation community. In helping to plan outreach events, the intern will reach out to volunteers, landowners, First Nations & organizations working on environmental stewardship and conservation projects in the Capital Regional District. Primary duties include: advertising and promoting events through media; Communicating with conservation groups, government agencies, and general public; Coordinating presentations, landowner visits and recording field data and reporting on landowner prescriptions; supporting youth education and restoration activities.

Preferred Skills:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • keen interest and knowledge of regional conservation issues
  • knowledge of local species and ecosystems (oak woodland, CDF forest, and riparian/littoral zones)
  • understanding of threats, behaviours, and habitats of species-at-risk of interest to HAT
  • event planning and media relations experience an asset
  • can work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends
  • computer competence necessary (email, internet, MS Office, Access)
  • Social media, website management, blogging, photography, as well as design skills are assets
  • sense of humour, team player, enjoys working with youth; creative problem-solver
  • capable of physical labour and hiking outdoors

Requirements:

     Eligible applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age;
  • have been a registered full-time student in the preceding academic year;
  • intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
  • willing to complete a criminal record check (upon hiring) for work with children.

Please include three references. Ensure that your application addresses all skills and criteria listed above.  

Visit our website at www.hat.bc.ca and Facebook page for information on HAT’s projects, history, and successes.

Application deadline: 4pm on Friday, May 12th, 2017  Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Email your application (resume and cover letter) with subject line: “Conservation Intern” addressed to Jill Robinson, Executive Director at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Job Posting: Land Protection Intern

Duration: 9 weeks, starting mid/late-May 2017, with possibility of 3 week extension.

Wage: $14 per hour, 37.5 hours per week

Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is a Victoria-based land trust working with our community to protect habitat from Sooke to Galiano Island. Our mission is to conserve natural spaces on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands through land acquisition, legal protection of private land, education, and stewardship programs. We work closely with community groups, government, individual landowners, and conservation organisations to coordinate effective habitat protection projects.

HAT is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated person to help coordinate and deliver our land protection activities this summer. The intern will assist the Land Acquisition Coordinator and Habitat Management Coordinator in monitoring and reporting on 1600 hectares of natural areas legally protected by Habitat Acquisition Trust. This work will involve a mix of field work in natural areas, data collection and technical office work including transcribing, mapping and reporting on current conditions in the protected areas and using GIS applications. The Intern will help implement restoration efforts, monitor protected lands, and build partnerships with local landowners and various interest groups. Primary duties include data collection, writing, editing, mapping and record keeping.

Preferred Skills:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • keen interest and knowledge of regional conservation issues
  • species ID skills (common species in oak woodland, CDF forest, and riparian/littoral zones)
  • GPS navigation and GIS mapping skills (or keen interest in learning)
  • understanding of threats, behaviours, and habitats of species-at-risk of interest to HAT
  • able to multi-task, manage time effectively and co-ordinate projects
  • event planning and media relations experience an asset
  • can work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends
  • computer competence necessary (email, internet, MS Office, Access)
  • sense of humour, team player, creative problem-solver
  • capable of physical labour and hiking outdoors

Requirements:

     Eligible applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age;
  • have been a registered full-time student in the preceding academic year;
  • intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
  • willing to complete a criminal record check (upon hiring) for work with children.

Please include three references. Ensure that your application addresses all skills and criteria listed above.  

Visit our website at www.hat.bc.ca and Facebook page for information on HAT’s projects, history, and successes.

Application deadline: 4pm on Friday, May 12th, 2017. 

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Email your application (resume & cover letter) with subject line: ‘Land Protection Intern’ addressed to Jill Robinson, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Habitat Acquisition Trust Recognized for Organizational Excellence with Victoria Foundation Community Leadership Award

Victoria Foundation Community Leadership Award Jill 2017Habitat Acquisition Trust is honoured to receive the Victoria Foundation Community Award this year.

This award recognizes an organization that demonstrates both exemplary community leadership and a commitment to organizational excellence.

As award recipients Habitat Acquistion Trust receives a grant from the Victoria Quality Council Legacy Fund. Our organization is grateful to both the Victoria Quality Council and Victoria Foundation for this recognition and support. 

The Victoria Foundation understands the importance of the qualities of community leadership adn commitment to organizational excellence as forming two of the pillars upon which their organization was established over 80 years ago.

jill community award resized

Ensuring organizational excellence in the service of nature and our community is one of five key ways Habitat Acquistion Trust achieves our vision of protecting natural habitat across south Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

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