This past weekend, November 4th & 5th 2017, Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) returned to the Matson Conservation Area to restore the last remaining Garry Oak Ecosystem in the Victoria Inner Harbour - but we were not alone! Not only did we have the help of many dedicated volunteers, the event was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and native plant seeds funded by Wildlife Preservation Canada.
This is HAT's thrid round of funding provided by a grant from TD FEF, and we are incredibly thankful for their continued support!
The TD FEF grant of $12,600, handed over as a giant cheque, will allow us to continue our restoration work in the Greater Victoria region, including Matson. The Matson Conservation Area is especially unique, as it encompasses the last intact Garry Oak Ecosystem along Victoria's Inner Harbour. Few of these diverse assemblages of flora and fauna remain and their protection is a primary conservation priority in our region.
Habitat Acquisition Trust has been protecting and restoring natural habitat at the Matson Conservation Area with community support for 12 years. A dedicated stewardship group, called the Matson Mattocks, have spent thousands of hours of volunteer time, restoring this local treasure for over 10 years, and the Friends of Matson Lands stewarded the land before them.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of restoring this land side by side with volunteers who are committed to maintaining our natural areas. We're still battling invasive plants, but the land is healing and providing some excellent foraging habitat for wildlife including the vital pollinator species."
– Wendy Tyrrell, Habitat Management Coordinator
The urban location of this park places pressures on this special natural space, but thanks to the caring hands of habitat stewards these lands nestled next to the city provide a wonderful showcase of community restoring habitat for nature. Providing recreational space for residents of Esquimalt and beyon. Matson Conservation Area is home to hundreds of Garry oak trees, hummingbirds, and pollinators like the Lorquin’s Admiral and at risk Moss’ Elfin Butterflies.