Tickets to HAT 20th Birthday Nature Fundraiser Sold Out!

Gala prints for blog

Wow! Thanks to the overwhelming support of community members, tickets to the Nov 8th 20th Birthday Nature Fundraiser are SOLD OUT

For those of you that couldn't make it, but would still like to be a part of the celebrations, this year we are hosting an online portion to the auction. There will even be some online exclusive auction items, so that those at the party don't have all the fun. 

Starting Oct 25th HAT's 20th Birthday Nature Fundraiser Online Auction Goes Live

Don't forget to put Oct 25th in your calendar, to take part in the celebrations and show your support for nature in our region. 

Visit today for a sneak peak at what's up for bid.

For those of you that like to make meaningful gifts for the holiday season and beat the rush too, this is the perfect opportunity. Also a great chance to treat yourself, while making a positive impact for the wildlife and natural spaces you care for.

We are so pleased to be able to celebrate 20 years of conservation with you. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to kickstart the future of conservation locally. Please share our open invitation to take part in the online auction with anyone you know that might enjoy taking part.

When asked about what he saw as the driving force and a source of pride in HAT over the years former HAT Executive Director Adam Taylor shared,

"I am always impressed at the community we live in, the way it has come together. I felt nothing but support during my time with HAT, and am immensely proud of the community that has allowed HAT to be what we are."


Read more: Tickets to HAT 20th Birthday Nature Fundraiser Sold Out!

HAT's 20th Birthday Fundraiser!

Renowned Ecologist and Author Andy Mackinnon to Perform for Musical Fundraiser for Nature

Co-author of “Plants of Coastal British Columbia” or what’s known locally as the “Botany Bible” and famous for his work on the ecology of old-growth forests, Andy MacKinnon will take the stage as a musician for Habitat Acquisition Trust’s 20th Birthday Fundraiser for Nature at Glenrosa Farm Restaurant (5447 Rocky Point Road, Metchosin) on Tues, Nov 8th from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Live music by folk artist and Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) Executive Director, Jill Robinson and The Bald Eagles local rock band with Arborist Ron Carter will set the backdrop for an evening of good fun for a great cause.

The gala event is in celebration of Habitat Acquisition Trust’s 20 years of conservation in the South Vancouver Island and Gulf Island’s region. Raising funds for habitat conservation and environmental education locally, this event features a silent auction supported by local businesses with goodies and gift baskets that nature-lovers, health enthusiasts, and those with an eye for art are sure to adore. The silent auction will also start online Oct 25th to facilitate bids by those who cannot make it for the final bidding at the event on Nov 8th. Keep an eye out for gifts to beat the holiday rush with special items like an experience at Sapphire Day Spa, a hiking tour with, and Gift Baskets by Purdy’s and The Good Planet generously donated for bidding.

Highlights include green cuisine canapés prepared by Nature’s Chef Tom Kral with local and foraged ingredients, as well as organic wine donated by DeVine Vineyards. Guests can also look forward to raffles, birthday cake, and the gorgeous backdrop of recently opened Glenrosa Farm Restaurant. All funds going to supporting wildlife and nature in the Capital Regional District.

Executive Director Jill Robinson says, “HAT’s annual fundraiser is always an event to remember. This green tie event will attract many of our area’s dedicated conservationists and caring community members. With HAT’s big 20th Birthday celebration, our goal is to raise $10,000 for nature”

All proceeds from this event support Habitat Acquisition Trust, your local land trust. Tickets start at $20 reserve by calling the HAT Office at 250-995-2428, visiting at 825 Broughton St, or online at Get your name on the guest list soon to avoid disappointment, as space is limited.



Read more: HAT's 20th Birthday Fundraiser!

HAT Hosts This Year's Wildlife Info Night - Sept 21st

Wildlife Info Night 2016 Poster

Maybe you've been out with us on a restoration day, counted bats, documented roadside amphibians, or have an owl or bat box from HAT. Maybe you're curious about these and other projects with Habitat Acquisition Trust. Whatever your connection and inspiration, we'd like to reconnect for an inspiring night showing the results of our wildlife efforts this year.


When: Weds, Sept 21st, 6:30 pm - 8 pm

Where: 1831 Fern Street

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know how many sweets to bake and seats to save!

This will be an ideal opportunity to bring a friend along, as the overview is perfect for someone that wants to see how they can get involved with HAT to make a difference locally.

The Line-up for the evening:

- Nature Story-telling by Faye Mogensen

- Dr. Kristiina Ovaska presenting on our work with Turtles and Slugs

- Alanah on amphibians (not literally on them, that would be cruel)

- HAT Volunteer Katie Bell and HAT Biologist Christian Engelstoft presenting about Bats

- Biologist Tania Tripp presenting on the Western Screech Owl program

- Wendy on restoration successes

- Barb featuring Wildlife on our covenant protected lands


You can also look forward to:

Looking forward to sharing this delightful evening with you, in appreciation of our partners in Citizen Science and habitat restoration, the incredible HAT volunteers.


Read more: HAT Hosts This Year's Wildlife Info Night - Sept 21st

HAT for Bats - Fundraiser for the Bat Program

ChristinaCarriersTownsendsCreditWildARCBC Small

It can be tricky finding a safe place to live nowadays if you’re a bat. Habitat loss due to development and deforestation have reduced bats’ options for finding suitable homes. Three out of the ten bat bat species found on Vancouver Island are considered at risk. With the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada as Endangered and both Townsend’s Big-eared (Corynorhinus townsendii) and Keen’s Myotis (Myotis Keenii) Bats provincially blue-listed as species of special concern. 

Habitat Acquisition Trust’s (HAT) Bat Stewardship Program helps people on South Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands care for bats by providing bats with the habitat they need. Through the Bat Program HAT has collaborated with community members to install 90 bat boxes to provide safe bat habitat in our region.  species found on Vancouver Island are considered at risk. With the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada as Endangered and both Townsend’s Big-eared (Corynorhinus townsendii) and Keen’s Myotis (Myotis Keenii) Bats provincially blue-listed as species of special concern.

Every summer HAT administers the BC Community Bat Program’s Bat Count on South Vancouver Island. This year, 39 volunteers and HAT staff counted 5,951 bats at 16 colonies over the course of 4 summer evenings. The Bat Count strengthens knowledge on bat health and how populations fluctuate through citizen science.

“I sit at my picnic table with a cup of tea from where it’s effortless to count our colony of Little Brown Bats emerging from the box,” comments HAT bat box recipient and bat counter, Carmel Thomson

Christian Engelstoft installing bat box on house

A single bat can eat more than their own body weight in insects in a single night. That’s a lot of bugs! Farmers benefit from bat’s nightly feeding frenzy by a reduced need for pestisides. Bats also distribute nitrogen with their guano, which is an excellent fertilizer.

With the detection of White Nose Syndrome in nearby Washington State bats, and the death toll by this disease elsewhere in North America in the millions, ensuring that we have healthy bat populations are more crucial than ever. In spite of this, the HAT Bat Program did not receive this year’s anticipated funding.

The popularity of the Bat Program and local interest in bats exploded over the past year. Bats can’t afford to lose our momentum. With that in mind, HAT is reaching out to the community with a fundraising campaign to continue its important work with local bats. You can support the “HAT for Bats” fundraiser by sponsoring a bat colony for $345, which covers the cost of building, delivering and installing a box that can support hundreds of bats (Photo right: HAT Biologist Christian Engelstoft installs a bat box at Habitat Steward's home). Community members can also team up with HAT to fundraise by collecting donations from their friends and neighbours or hosting their own mini-fundraiser event.

Print off your fundraising pledge sheet today here.

“Our goal is to raise $3,000 for these incredible flying mammals by 2017. When the community comes together creatively, I know we can rise to the challenge,” - HAT Community and Development Coordinator, Alanah Nasadyk.

Donations can be made: online, in person at the HAT Office on 825 Broughton, by phone at 250-995-2428, or by mail to PO Box 8552 Victoria BC V8W 3S2.

HAT’s efforts have been funded primarily by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Environment Canada, and supported by the BC Conservation Foundation. With increased need for bat protection, we are requesting additional funds to provide necessary habitat protection for bats. These funds will allow HAT to install bat boxes, provide advice to residents with bats, and help coordinate efforts by Citizen Scientists like you to count and monitor our local bat populations.

HATForBats Fundraiser Poster 


Read more: HAT for Bats - Fundraiser for the Bat Program

Top 4 Recommendations for Enhancing Backyard Habitat

13717384 10157181376980274 8029896651857557407 oWith the Good Neighbours program HAT meets with people in the community to provide free landcare consultation in our annual focus area with the goal of enhance their backyard habitat. This year we're focusing our targeted habitat stewardship efforts in the Sooke Region.

We came up with the Top 4 recommendations for naturescaping on your land.

1. Choosing deer resistant plants
2. How to encourage native pollinators to visit
3. Naturescape for low maintenance and water use
4. Use native plants for your privacy buffers

1. The truth is, there are no deer proof plants, they will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough. But you can pick native species that are less-palatable to our ungulate neighbours. HAT suggests:

  • Sword Fern
  • Oregon Grape (Top right)
  • Kinnikinnick (photo right)

In many cases native plants can withstand browsing better than exotics.

2. When it comes to encouraging pollinators to stop by there are a few things you can do:

  • Provide a water source
  • Don't be too tidy: keep your leaf litter
  • Plant their favourites:13719611 10157197104865274 8112544725703022597 o

- Red-flowering Currant
- Camas
- Salmonberry Bush
- Pink or White Fawn Lilies
- Oceanspray (right)

3. Naturescaping doesn't have to be a hassle. In fact, with native plants well-adapted to local climates, they tend to be less work. The trick to make your yard manageable and sustainable is to pick the right plant for the right place. Before you pick a plant, take a look at the location you want it to grow in. Is it shady? Is the location wet or dry? Then look up the conditions your plant of choice prefers (a good resource). If you can match what you've got, with what a plant wants, you'll spend less time fussing with an unhealthy plant. 

Selecting drought-tolerant plants is a great way to go for an easy to manage naturescape. Some local native plant gardeners don't even have to water their garden. Why not go for a technique that conserves water and native species too?

Some low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants to include in your garden for wildlife:

salal hedge

  • Broad-leaved Stonecrop (and other native Sedum species)
  • Yarrow
  • Snowberry
  • Nootka Rose

Another tip to hold moisture in your garden is to spread an organic mulch annually. A layer of mulch traps moisture, distributes it evenly in soil, and reduce the amount evaporated.

4. People like to keep a privacy, wind, or noise buffer around their homes often, sometimes planting hedges. That can be achieved using native plants too by planting a native plant hedgerow, a variety of shrubs spaced closely together in a row.

Some good choices for growing a hedge include:

  • Salal (photo right)
  • Mock Orange
  • Pacific Ninebark
  • Hardhack
  • Thimbleberry

How do you manage your space to be a Good Neighbour to wildlife? Send in your pics and tips! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read more: Top 4 Recommendations for Enhancing Backyard Habitat

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