It's summer, and that means covenant monitoring season is in full swing. Since May, our Land Protection Coordinator Barb von Sacken has wrangled up a team of interns and volunteers to accompany her on monitoring visits on our covenant lands.
|Alf & Annika Photo by: Barb von Sacken (2019)|
This year, three main volunteers Annika Meijer, Alf Birch and Karen Yearsley, and our two interns Nicole da Silva and Ronna Woudstra, have worked tirelessly to collect data to not only assess the overall status of the natural areas within the covenant, but also monitoring for compliance with the terms of the agreement. However, for our Interns and volunteers this work is more than just walking around with a clipboard and taking notes. It opens a whole world of wonders in which they can become fully immersed during their time in the field.
After one of their last forays into the wilderness on covenant lands, our volunteer Annika offered to share a story with our readers based on her experiences.
Making paper out of pulp made with laurel-leaved Daphne. Photo by: Liz Belcher (2019)
"Covenant monitoring with HAT has been such a rich experience with a lot of unexpected extra rewards. Just last week, a landowner gave us a tour of their little paper-making workshop they have in their residence, where they turn invasive species into beautiful journals", she says. "It was a crisp and breezy summer day on the property that backed onto a lake; a covenant composed of a patchwork of riparian, meadow and forest habitat. Each of these habitats were rich in native species and made lovely homes for the families of owls and swallows that reside there. The landowners and HAT have done a great job of keeping invasive [plants] back, allowing a large diversity of native species to establish and thrive. It was a perfect example of the preservation of a wild area within a city."
Conservation covenants allow us to preserve nature in perpetuity while individuals maintain title of their land. As much of what remains of endangered Coastal Douglas-fir and Garry Oak meadow habitats are on privately-owned land, conservation covenants this means covenants are one of the most important tools we have for ensuring and creating contiguous protected habitat HAT's focus areas. From learning and witnessing the growth of native plants, birds and butterflies to meeting the wonderful people that have dedicated their lands to nature in perpetuity, our interns and volunteers always have so much to share with us after their monitoring.
Annika's experiences would not have been possible were it not for the commitment landowners and land managers have made to protect nature forever with a conservation covenant with HAT.
If you'd like to help support HAT's conservation efforts please visit our Donate page to make a contribution to HAT today. Or, if you want to learn about how you can have a direct impact on habitat with HAT you can click here to find out more!