Nicole da Silva Internship Experience


"This summer I was fortunate enough to work as HAT’s Land Protection Intern for the second summer in a row. My first summer with HAT, in 2019, didn’t go quite as planned. I tore my MCL in a horseback riding accident within the first week of my work term which meant that, unfortunately, I had to miss out on many of the perks of being a Land Protection Intern. Although I was office-bound for most of that summer, I still had a fun and memorable experience working with HAT and I was thrilled to have the opportunity this year of another summer as an intern (this time, uninjured)!

Every spring and summer, HAT monitors approximately 16 of the conservation covenants that make up our Land Protection program. These covenant areas are spread across the CRD from North Saanich to Sooke and cover a variety of ecosystems such as Garry oak meadows, Douglas fir forests, wetlands and coastlines. As an intern, my job is to assist HAT’s Land Protection Coordinator, Barb von Sacken, on these monitoring trips, and back at the office while writing reports for each covenant. 


Read more: Nicole da Silva Internship Experience

Meet Rachael Tancock

Meet our Conservation Intern, Rachael TancockShe was born and raised on the unceded lands of the W̱SÁNEĆ and Lekwungen peoples. Rachael is very passionate about the natural environment, which stems from spending most of her childhood outdoors, exploring southern Vancouver Island and sailing throughout the Salish Sea. After graduating from the University of Victoria with a BSc Major in Geography and Minor in Environmental Studies, she has worked as a Research Intern at the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui and as a Park Naturalist with the Capital Regional District. Rachael enjoys spending time in natureexploring natural areas, identifying native species, and snorkeling/freediving along Vancouver Island’s coastline. She will be returning to post-secondary education in the fall to further her passion for environmental education.


Read more: Meet Rachael Tancock

Membership Changes coming to HAT

Membership has long been a mainstay of the HAT conservation community. HAT members are the driving force behind much of why HAT exists. Not only do they play a central role in HAT’s governance structure by participating in and voting at the Annual General Meeting (held at the end of every January), they are those folks who want to be involved in conservation in a direct way, whether that’s through showing their support at member events, or as regular participants at volunteer restoration workshops.

In July (2020), HAT is changing the benefits to becoming a member.

Changing the way members are recognized has been a long point of discussion at HAT. Surprisingly, it was the recent pandemic that finally gave us the motivation to make this a reality.

Much like HAT, COVID-19 is still impacting many of our local partners, and it has been difficult for us to interact with our communities as we normally do. Whether due to social distancing, confinement or other health concerns, many of us are trying to remain connected in the best ways we can. For that reason, HAT and some of our local partners have found a new way to support each other and cultivate a renewed community focus on conservation! 

Beginning in July, any HAT member with a valid membership card will be able to receive special benefits (that range from experiences to discounts) from a group of locally-based, locally-owned, community-focused and conservation-minded businesses in the area. These include Sea Cider Farm & Cider House, West Coast Refill, Metchosin Farm, Onyx Lion Herbs, and we are hoping to add more diverse businesses as we grow the program.

The actual benefits or perks to membership are listed on HAT’s Membership page, so please take a look! As well, this change means a bit of a change for folks who normally receive a tax receipt for their membership. In the past our membership fee was considered a donation and therefore eligible for a tax receipt. Since our new membership will offer benefits or "advantages" to its members, according to CRA law we will no longer be able to issue a tax receipt. To not leave anyone out, we are happy to offer an option for folks who are happy to forego the perks and wish to retain a tax receipt. So please take a close read of the Membership page, and email Chris (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you have any questions or concerns.

We are hoping that folks who are already members, and those who are actively considering becoming members, might support local partners as they tentatively reopen. Cross-promotion and working together will also give HAT the chance to reach folks we don’t often have the chance to interact with, allowing us to grow our conservation community and support more local conservation!

A huge Thank You to all of HAT’s members, and to our local partners. HAT is proud to work with each of you towards our shared conservation vision!


It is Pollinator Week! June 22-28 2020

Time to celebrate Pollinator Week - June 22-28 2020

International Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. 

Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration that has extended into Canada, promoting the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.



Read more: It is Pollinator Week! June 22-28 2020

Help us win $20,000 with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge from CanadaHelps

In so many ways COVID-19 has shown us the power of what we can accomplish by coming together, even while apart.

During this period of confinement and self-isolation many local businesses and charities have not been able to interact and engage with their communities in their usual ways, making this a difficult time to fund the activities that we rely on them to perform in our neighbourhoods and regions. This is another COVID-19 has given us to share - in the region, on the Island, in British Columbia, and across Canada.

In an effort to support charities that rely on financial support from communities, and to help ensure that so many valuable programs continue this summer, CanadaHelps is once again putting out a call to action, asking each of us that can to support registered charities, giving them the chance to work on the projects and programs we all see as valuable. We all understand how important charities are, as they are often the only organizations or groups able to implement programs that are vital to our collective wellbeing, and to community health.

For the month of June 2020, CanadaHelps has launched the 6th Annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge, inviting people from all over Canada to donate to their favorite registered charities, and to bring together the same power of community that is seeing us each do our best to come through the COVID-19 pandemic in a good way.

For the whole month of June, every dollar donated to HAT through the CanadaHelps online giving platforms gives us another chance to win $20,000. That means a great deal for conservation and habitat stewardship in Southern Vancouver Island! For charities of our size, $20,000 will ensure that our habitat stewardship, habitat management, and species at risk programs can continue through 2020.


Read more: Help us win $20,000 with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge from CanadaHelps

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