Welcoming some new friendly faces to the HAT Team!

Welcome, summer interns! 

This summer, we are please to have two stellar summer interns, Nicole da Silva and Ronna Woudstra


Nicole da Silva

Nicole is studying biology and environmental studies at Uvic. She is passionate about wildlife and conservation. Having grown up in Victoria, she is thrilled to be contributing to the environmental stewardship of the Victoria area while working for HAT.

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Nicole on one of the first covenant monitoring site visits of 2019 (left) and with HAT's Land Protection Coordinator, Barb von Sacken (right)

Ronna Woudstra 

Ronna is of Irish and Dutch decent and is currently residing in unceded Lekwungen territory, now known as the Shelbourne community. She is a recent University of Victoria graduate with a BSc. in Biology and a minor in Anthropology. Throughout her studies she focused on ecosystems, ecology, plant biochemistry, and how we as humans understand and conceptualize the physical world around us. In her extracurricular life she is a soccer player, pianist, painter, and a disc golf enthusiast who finds joy in being outside and exploring nature with her dog, Lily.

 

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Ronna with HAT's Stewardship Coordinator, Paige Erickson-McGee (left) and removing Scotch Broom from a restoration site (right)

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Volunteer Spotlight June 2019 - Alf Birch

In this month's Volunteer Spotlight, we'd like to highlight Alf Birch, a long-time and loyal HAT volunteer. Alf recently returned from a short hiatus and has come back with new zeal and endless energy! From helping out with this year's Annual General Meeting in January, to owl monitoring, to helping with Earth Day at the Boys and Girls Club, and even more behind the scenes work besides, Alf has been a big part of our recent successes in outreach and monitoring.

We asked Alf what keeps him coming back to HAT after years of volunteering and what first inspired him to begin volunteering with us:

What was it about HAT that made you want to get involved?

"I find HAT's activities are very practical, effective and hands-on.  I really enjoy rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in a variety of field work.  Over time I've seen the impact that HAT volunteers are having on conservation covenant properties and many other areas where landowners are taking steps to preserve nature features.  I also very much enjoy working with HAT staff and other volunteers. This is a wonderful community of people who care deeply about our natural environment and about educating people about the role that we can all play.  I continue to learn about the ecology of this region and about how people can come together to preserve and enhance it."

What has been your favourite experience volunteering with HAT so far?

"There have been so many great experiences in working with HAT over serveral years.  Travelling to Senanus Island in Saanich Inlet to pull English Ivy, hiking in the Sooke Hills to monitor HAT covenants, counting bats on a summer evening at an incredible maternal colony in Metchosin, listening for Screech Owls on a cold night on Willis Point Road and many others.  I guess what tie these together and what I enjoy most are the camaraderie of the HAT community and the sense of making a small but very important contribution to what I believe is important."

Thank you for your hard work, dedication and commitment to our organization. It is a priviledge to have you on board and we are very happy to recognize your support of our organization through our volunteer spotlight this month.

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If you'd like to experience what volunteering with HAT is all about, watch for opportunities in the Volunteer Opportunities Section of our E-news or get in touch with us!

 

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Owl(s) be home for summer!

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May 27, 2019

This year has already become very promising for our Western Screech-owls. With one next box occupied by a pair and 3 (possibly 4) chicks in Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley, and another in the Highlands with 3 chicks.

 As the monitoring season continues we are hopeful that more Western Screech-owl pairs will have taken up residence in HAT nestboxes around the CRD. For more information on how you can get involved or to learn more about threats to the Western Screech-owl, visit our website.

Image above: Cowichan nest with chicks circled in green. PC: Madrone Consulting. 

*These nests are monitored by HAT and biologists with Madrone Consulting. Western Screech-owls (kennicottii subspecies, on Vancouver Island) is listed as a species of Special Concern based on the May 2002 COSEWIC assessments. In British Columbia, the species and active nests are protected from direct harm under the Wildlife Act; the macfarlanei subspecies is on the British Columbia Red List (potentially Threatened or Endangered) and the kennicottii subspecies is on the Blue List (Special Concern).

Videos and images produced and shared with permission from Madrone Consulting.

 

Cowichan Nest, May 6, 2019

Highlands Nest, May 11, 2019

 

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Gifts of Securities, a great way to give to conservation

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Donating appreciated equity can be a gift for both you and your favourite charity, Habitat Acquisition Trust! 

Did you know you can donate gifts of securities can not only benefit your favourite charity (HAT) but also benefit you! Donating securities has the potential to help you realign your portfolio and give back to your community in a tax-efficient way that may have an even greater impact than if you were to sell your stock and donate the cash value after liquidating. 

By donating securities, you can avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciated amount you would have incurred had you sold the stock, plus get a tax deduction for the full fair market value of your long-term capital gain asset (up to 30% of your adjusted gross income). 

Another wonderful way to give: give stock through a Donor Advised Fund. This option presents the opportunity to grow your donation, tax-free. 

To learn more about how you can contribute to HAT while benefitting from a tax deduction, talk to your Financial Advisor, contact our friends at Raymond James, and read this article on The Gift of Appreciated Stock, to ensure your gift of securities to HAT can make to strongest impact possible for conservation. 

Raymond James is kind enough to provide this service free of charge, so your gift to HAT can make to strongest impact possible for conservation. 

Photo by: Alanah Nasadyk

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Green Spots gets a new portable mural thanks to local artists!

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Thanks to the great initiative and organization of HAT supporter and local artist, Joanne Thomson, Green Spots has a new portable mural to use in upcoming education and outreach programs. Advised by HAT staff, Joanne came up with the idea to create a mural that depicts Green Spots students at work on their school grounds, removing invasive plants like Himalayan Blackberry, Scotch broom and English Ivy to allow native species like Common and Great (Grand) Camas (purple-blue flowers in foreground) Buttercup (yellow flowers among the Camas), and Seablush (pink flowers in background) to re-establish. Joanne, with the help of a team of wonderful local artists, painted this mural in the hopes that it will help spread the message to youngsters about the importance of native plants to our local ecosystems and empower them to make a positive change for nature in their community by gardening with native plants. 
We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Joanne and all of the artists involved in the making of this mural. We are so excited to share your beautiful contribution with our Green Spots kids!

Photos courtesy of Joanne Thomson, Ashlea Veldhoen, Ann Schau & artist participants

Green Spots Mural Project 2019

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