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.
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!
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.
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.
Habitat 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.