A successful Havenwood Restoration Day!

By HAT Restoration Team Volunteer, Emily Truman

Havenwood June 11 team photo

 

The HAT Team worked with the Greater Victoria Green Team and Friends of Havenwood Park to remove approximately 10 cubic metres of invasive, weedy plants, and build a trail! 

My first restoration event with HAT was at Havenwood Park - a place that I had never previously visited - and I was pleasantly surprised. Just a few feet from the road, a footpath opened up to a lush forest teeming with wildlife. Apart from the trees, it felt like there was movement in everything. As I walked through the forest to the restoration site, I began to see where urban development had touched the environment. Although previous restoration work had clearly allowed the landscape to gain back some of its natural life, I could see that the landscape had been agitated, and that the negative effects were still harming the plants and wildlife. 

While I took in the beauty that was being regained by the area, we set out to clear some invasive species, mulch the trees, and clear a pathway leading from the park trail into the restoration site. 

The progress we made will allow the native species to thrive - including the trees planted by the Royal Bay graduating class. The new trail will encourage visitors to the site to enjoy their surroundings without impacting surrounding wildlife. This project also allows community members involved to build a greater appreciation for restoration within our community. 

The following photos were taken right before we began our work, and again after we had finished. They really illustrate the power of a dedicated team with a cause!

June 11 before and After pictures BY AMANDA from GVGT

A lot of hard work has been done on the Havenwood land, and the progress is really starting to show! We had 30 helping hands, so it's no surprise that we got this much done in a matter of a few hours! Everyone was a good sport and helped to wrestle with the Himalayan Blackberry and Thistle. 

We all worked up quite an appetite with all that weed pulling and trail building - luckily we had goodies donated by Royal Bay Bakery to keep us going and push through to the end!

Once we finished this chapter of the restoration project, the volunteer team closed off with goodbyes and took home some generous donations through Greater Victoria Green Team sponsor LUSH to clean off with. 

It was so lovely to see so many smiling faces on hard workers, all brought together for a common cause. Joining HAT, I never thought I would become prt of such a motivational, friendly community! The sense of accomplishment as we finished off for the day, combined with the beautiful Havenwood scenery made me feel extremely grateful for everything that HAT, the GVGT, and FOHP do - and have been doing for a long time. 

But perhaps what was even more eye opening was the fact that I could envision how the area will flourish in a few years time. The trees will have grown, native species thriving, and the footpath beaten down by frequent visitors. The birds that I saw when I made my first trip out here will be even more numerous, making homes out of the bushes and trees that are allowed to extend over much of the land by restoration teams. 

A big thanks to everyone who came out to help, and to our generous sponsors for keeping us going!

If your business or one you know of would like to sponsor a restoration event like this or a local park, please contact Alanah Nasadyk at 250-995-2428 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
We can team up to promote the good work in our region, for nature!

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We did it! Habitat Guardians Campaign a Success

SalmonberryblossomHarrisIt's the weekend! What better time to celebrate?

What are we celebrating you ask? The successful fundraising to permanently protect Calypso Woods and Fairview.

Thanks to HAT's Habitat Guardians we actually beat our original goal and mustered $10,500 for the Land Protection Program.

This means that these two new covenants in progress now have the needed funds to go forward! As well as funds for their future monitoring and stewardship. Though these covenants are slated for private land, much of the same wildlife that passes through and depends on parkland in East Sooke Park, Mt. Wells, the Sooke Hills, and Bilston Creek benefits from their establishment. Anyone who visits those incredible places can appreciate these buffers that enrich pre-existing protected green space.

Salmonberry blossom at Calypso Woods, thriving next to Bilston Creek.

Fairview2016 AN"It doesn't matter if you never see these places, I just like to know that it's been protected in perpetuity. Let the wildlife be wild." - Habitat Guardian Lea Goward

The Land Protection program, which allows for the establishment of conservation covenants and the monitoring and restoration of HAT protected lands is historically our most under-funded program. Even though the Habitat Guardians Campaign is complete, ongoing donations to Land Protection are always welcome and crucial to the work that we do.

Through the Land Protection Program HAT currently conserves over 1,900 hectares (4,500 acres) of natural landscapes in the Capital Regional District, including many public parks and sensitive ecosystems. These natural places provide habitat, reduce pollution, and provide important recreation areas used by over 40,000 people a year.

  The lands of Fairview reach right down to the shore of Beecher Bay. It's not hard to guess where the inspiration for its name came from.

Every year we monitor the properties protected by HAT thanks to supporters like you and work to restore those that need it.

A husband and wife habitat stewardship duo that protects their land through HAT beautifully summarized their conservation philosophy like so:

"Do we need to own this land? No. Do we love this land? Yes. Do we want to walk this land as its guardians? Yes."

Forever is a long time, and together we're making sure thriving ecosystems are a part of our region forever. Give to Land Protection today.

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Learn How to Protect Western Painted Turtles

Have you spotted any turtles lately? Are Western painted Turtles regular visitors to your property? Just want to learn how to protect them in case you find one? 

We have created an infographic to help spread the word about our endangered little friends!

Please feel free to share this with your friends so we can help create a better understanding of how these turtles interact with their environment!

westernpaintedturtleinfographic

 

 

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HAT's Wildlife Photo Contest

Share your best wildlife photos and participate in HAT's Wildlife Photo Contest! 

Habitat Acquistion Trust wants your help to find the perfect photos for HAT's 2016 Wildlife Cards, so let's get outside and show the world the wonders of nature on South Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands! Before the fun can begin, first we have to get a couple of ground rules out of the way. To participate LIKE our Facebook page and SHARE our Wildlife Photo Contest post. To enter, email HAT your high quality photo and post it to our Facebook page with a description including location, featured wildlife, and other juicy details. 

The categories are: 

Within the species at rish category preference will be towards photos of our focus species at-risk: Sharp-tailed Snake, Western Painted Turtles, Blue-grey Taildropper, Bats, Amphibians, and the Western Screech Owl

How to Win 

The pool of photos will be narrowed down to 25 through popular vote using the Facebook LIKE button, so get your friends involved! HAT staff will choose the Winning Photos from the top 25, so make sure to stay with the theme and give us your best shot! Bonus Points will be given for following HAT on Instagram, Twitter, or by joining our monthly e-newsletter. Winners will receive photo credit and exposure through the HAT community as well as their very own set of winning Wildlife Cards! 

CONTEST CLOSING DATE: July 10, 2016

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                                                                                            Past HAT Wildlife Cards

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Welcome HAT Summer Interns

The Habitat Acquisition Trust is thrilled to welcome summer Interns Salia Wilson and Thomas Cinnamon to 0ur team. We hope you will enjoy meeting and working with these excellent students during their time with HAT.

2016 06 07 02.08.48 1

Salia Wilson, Conservation Intern 

While originally from the Island Salia has lived in 8 different cities across Canada. She returned to Victoria with a new appreciation for its mild climate and beautiful landscapes. Salia is in her final year at the University of Victoria,working towards her double major in Environmental Studies and Economics. As a co-operative student she is extremely excited to apply her education to tangible situations

With an interest in environmental law Salia is eager to gain further understanding of ecological agreements and hands-on conservation experience with HAT. Previously, she has participated in ivy pulling and bird survey initiatives. As the Conservation Intern, Salia looks forward to collaborating with the Greater Victoria environmental community while working on the Species at-risk, Good Neighbours,and Green Spots Programs.

IMG 1359 min min Thomas Cinnamon, Land Protection Intern

Thomas studies Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and is heavily involved in the restoration club. As a result he has voluteered on a number of different restoration initiatives within the CRD and beyond. In 2015, Thomas first worked with HAT as a volunteer on Galiano Island helping to restore the Trincomali Nature Sanctuary.

 Over the summer Thomas will assist both Barb von Sacken and Wendy Tyrell in coordinating restoration events  and completing annual compliance monitoring. While this prairie boy only has three years of experience working in Coastal Douglas-fir environments, he is a quick learner with a wide spectrum of backcountry experience. In the fall Thomas will be returning to the University of Victoria to pursue his undergraduate.

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