HAT-TY Holidays Open House

Hatty Holiday Dec 13

You're invited to join us in celebration of the holidays and moving into our new home on the second floor of 661 Burnside Rd. E.

***Please note, our office is regrettably not accessible for those with mobility difficulties***

Enter through the set of double doors next to the "Blanshard St Winery", go up the two sets of stairs and take a left when you reach the top. Go past the washrooms on the left and our office is the last one at the end of the hall.

Drop in any time between 3 pm and 6 pm. Refreshments provided and everyone is welcome! Our new home has lots of street parking on Burnside Rd, so we ask that you please use street parking in order to keep 3 parking spots open for the Blanshard St. Winery customers. Thank you so much friends. We look forward to seeing you there! 


Big Bat Bash benefits HAT’s Stewardship Programs

Written by: Ashlea Veldhoen, Community & Development Coordinator

celebratemetchosinsbats20181028 172133 HDR COLLAGEHAT wrapped up International Bat Week with our Big Bat Bash – a one of a kind art-meets-science celebration of bats and nature conservation in Metchosin. The big event combined HAT’s annual fundraiser dinner with all things batty in an effort to raise funds for our habitat conservation projects in Metchosin and throughout the Capital Regional District. The event was sponsored by the Metchosin Foundation, Vancity, and the Metchosin Community Hall, who generously donated the cost of the hall rental to HAT. 

Read more about International Bat Week here


Upon entry to the Hall, guests were greeted by HAT friends & volunteers Jenny and Wouter. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

Looking up, were dazzled by an array of intricate wire bats hanging just above their heads. Created by artist Estraven Lupino-Smith, the bats were generously sponsored by the CRD Arts Grant and CFUV FM, who supported this event from its very early stages. 


Estraven's intricate hand-made wire bats hung just above the heads of guests. (Photos: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

In the Bat Cave, an amazing audio and visual marvel by local artist Estraven Lupino-Smith, Bat Bash guests experienced bats like they never have before. On the stage at the end of the hall, the curtains were closed to create a dark, cave-like atmosphere, and digitally enhanced recordings of bat echolocation were played alongside video of the Metchosin Hall’s very own bats flying against the twilit sky behind the hall. The sounds were an entrancing and perhaps a little spooky series of deep reverberating pops that we hope our guests won’t soon forget. 

Our silent auction featured amazing gifts from generous local artists, artisans and businesses from across the CRD. Among some of our most popular silent auction items were our round-trip vacation to Seattle, Self-Care Packages including massages from CloverCare massage in Sooke and Atman Massage Therapy in Metchosin, Metchosin Jazzercise passes, and a stay at Wildergarden Covehouse.  

20181028 155500 HDR

14th Juan de Fuca Scouts leading the bat-themed craft table, where guests donated $5 to paint a bat cut-out in their own style! (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

batbashbatcutouts 3

All of the bat designs were so creative! Some guests left their designs to be installed on the fence outside the Metchosin Community Hall. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

20181028 155048 HDR

Parks Canada helped guests better understand their batty neighbours with a wonderfully fun bat-themed trivia wheel! (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

The 14th Juan de Fuca Scout group were fundamental to the success of this event as well, with leaders Yvonne and Curtis Becker, the Scouts raised $255 for the bats at the Metchosin Community Hall by selling wooden bat cut-outs – graciously made by inmates at the William Head Institution – for guests to decorate at the event. The bat cut-outs will be installed on the fence behind the Metchosin Community Hall, so keep your eyes open for them in the next few weeks! Parks Canada joined in the batty fun with a bat trivia wheel and doling out candy to guests that could give them correct answers to trivia questions. 


EmCee for the night, HAT supporter Andy MacKinnon did a wonderful job welcoming and encouraging guests to participate in the silent auction and raffle to support HAT’s programs. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018)


From Left to Right - Brennan Smith, Jill Robinson on guitar, Euan Thomson and Karen Lithgow form The Copper Lights . (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018)


Estraven had their own table where they sold prints, t-shirts and other amazing gifts. (Photo: W. Tyrrell, 2018) 

batpins 2   batpins 1

Glow-in-the-dark bat pins designed by Estraven Lupino-Smith. The same bat was used on our event advertising. Bat Pins can be purchased for $10 at the HAT Office. Funds go towards our stewardship programs. Get yours while supplies last. (Photos: A. Veldhoen, 2018). 

At 5 pm the fundraiser dinner began, and, dressed as an adorable bat, our EmCee Andy MacKinnon welcomed guests and shared some kind words about HAT. Andy then graciously welcomed our musical guests the Copper Lights (Jill Robinson, Brennan Smith, Euan Thompson and Karen Lithgow), who donated their time and musical talents to our event. The band kept spirits high with beautiful music and created a lovely ambience for our dinner guests.


Dinner guests lining up for delicious food. (Photo: A.Veldhoen, 2018) 

Dinner was a delicious combination of locally produced foods. Waste-free cheese and crackers were provided by the Zero Waste Emporium. Our guests lined up along the length of the hall in anticipation for a fresh barbecue dinner from Jones’s Bar-B-Que with both meat-lover and vegetarian options including smoked chicken, pulled pork and Portobello mushrooms. HAT staff and volunteers worked hard to make sure the experience was a real treat for guests. HAT volunteer Jemma Green and friend Daniela Lucchitti spoiled volunteers once again this year with their famous bat cookies, as well! 


HAT Volunteer & Past Bat Coordinator, Ali Jones with bat cookie. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

BobAddleyandBatCookie 1

HAT Volunteer, Bob Addley with bat cookie. (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

Kitchen volunteers served up a the mains along with sides of baked beans from the Metchosin SIRC, mac n’ cheese from Bubby Rose's, coleslaw from the Market Stores and buns and desserts from Portofino and Royal Bay Bakery made this dinner a dream for barbecue lovers. Guests enjoyed a selection of beer courtesy of Phillips Brewery and other choice wine and beer selections from the Winemaker’s House, Lighthouse Brewery and Vancouver Island Brewery from Spinnakers Spirit Merchants.

batbashkitchenhelpers 1

Bat Bash Kitchen Helpers (Photo: A. Veldhoen, 2018) 

IMG 0237

Habitat Stewardship Coordinator, Paige Erickson-McGee  (right, in bat head costume) and Executive Director, Katie Blake (left) were interviewed at the event by Shalu Mehta from the Goldstream Gazette! Read their exciting coverage here


Thank you

Thank you to everyone who came together in celebration of Metchosin's bats and HAT's work for bats across the CRD at our Big Bat Bash. In total we had over 300 guests, sold 60 dinners, raffled 6 amazing gifts, auctioned off 20 fantastic packages donated from local artists, artisans and businesses from across the region and raised over $4,000 for our programs!

Special thanks to Elizabeth Easton for planning and helping run the set-up procedures; Karen Mann for planning and leading the kitchen efforts; to the Copper Lights for musical entertainmen; Jill Robinson for musical entertainment and planning support; to Katie Blake for her monumental efforts in securing such delicious food and drinks. And a huge thank you to all of the committee, HAT staff and HAT Board of Directors for helping secure donations for the silent auction!

And a warm thank you goes to our event artists:

Estraven Lupino-Smith,

who not only designed the image for our Big Bat Bash poster, but also created the popular glow in the dark bat pins, a hanging wire bat display but also the Bat Cave experience.

Joanne Thomson

both a volunteer and a contributor to the Big Bat Bash, creating these lovely colouring sheets for children to enjoy at the event and helped in the arrangement of the silent auction items.

And to Wilson Tutube,

a local Nuu-chah-nulth artist who contributed his talents to the silent auction, painting a beautiful bat in his own design on one of HAT’s rocket boxes, donating a bat print and creating a unique bat head costume to use in HAT’s batty programs. Premier Horgan hangs one of Wilson's prints in his office. Read more here.   

Thank you to our volunteers, donors, sponsors and planning committee, whose participation and effort made this event sparkle! 

contributors Page 1contributors Page 2


Restoration on Trial Islands

By: Monica Short, Species at Risk Restoration Intern

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trial Island view gomes 300x168


As a summer student, in addition to removing invasive species, I had the opportunity to learn from Matt about the biology of different native and invasive species on the island. He took the other summer student, Alex, and I around the island to learn about different ecosystems. He also showed us areas of the island that used to be entirely covered in Scotch Broom or Ivy that are now native meadows thanks to the work put into this project by his dedicated team of students and volunteers each year. I have been working with Habitat Acquisition Trust and Matt Fairbarns on the Trial Islands Restoration Project for the last 5 weeks of this summer. This project has been ongoing for many years and it has been incredible to see the progress that has happened even in these few weeks alone. This summer we have primarily been working on removing English Ivy, which is a tedious but quite satisfying task. We spent time on both Lesser and Greater Trial Islands and it was wonderful to see the progress we made on both. We managed to clear out large areas of ivy, which will hopefully soon be recolonized by native species and species at risk. We also collected native plants seeds  on the island to use in helping recolonize these bare areas. I am very excited to see how this transition will unfold from year to year.

I feel privileged to work with Matt’s team, which is chock-full of hard working and genuinely wonderful people. Thanks to this project, I was able to connect with so many other “nature nerds” and I feel great knowing that I am contributing to the restoration of a beautiful native ecosystem.

Monica Short,

Species at Risk Restoration Intern

Photo: Trial Island View Gomes (2015)


Remembering Moralea

Moralea Milne

Moralea Milne.

Passionate, fiercely determined, and undoubtedly kind, Moralea holds a special place in the hearts of all of us at HAT. Her dedication to the conservation of nature and to her family were in the forefront of her every move. She inspired us to continue learning, challenging ourselves, and to embody her unwavering sense of fairness – to do what is right, even if the road is long. 

Self-described as “a volunteer speaking and acting for the environment,” the last 18 years Moralea has whole-heartedly embraced volunteerism to be her full time responsibility. 

“I believe in the power of the volunteer to achieve remarkable goals and objectives. Volunteer commitment will make people feel good about themselves and will strengthen their relationship with their community. I make the case that volunteers can have a powerful voice in producing change as their motives are not driven by financial need and they can operate outside of conflict of (financial) interest scenarios. The last nine years that I have devoted to volunteering, mostly in the environmental field, have been rewarding beyond words.” – Moralea, 2008

As an avid naturalist with a keen eye for Lepidoptera, she inspired many with her wonderful photos and stories of butterflies and moths. She shared her enthusiasm for the natural environment by co-founding the Metchosin Foundation, hosting over 100 Talk and Walks as a major component of Metchosin Biodiversity, and coordinating BioBlitzes aplenty too. Her dedication to making Metchosin the best community it could be was demonstrated even further with over 10 years on council, advocating fervently for the voiceless natural environment. 

"The intrinsic right of our native species to flourish has become of paramount importance to me. Restoration of on ecosystem to its original integrity and self sustainability has a lot of parallels to raising our children to be productive, caring and self-sustaining adults." - Moralea

Moralea and her late husband John Webb committed to establishing a conservation covenant on her property, Camas Hill, in partnership with HAT and TLC.  Moralea explained that she wanted “to ensure the long term protection of the rare and threatened ecosystems and species that call Camas Hill home. In particular the federally recognised species at risk, the sharp-tailed snakes (Contia tenuis), that reside here.” The covenant was successfully completed in August of 2007.

So it is with great sadness and heavy hearts that all of us here at Habitat Acquisition Trust must say goodbye to our dear friend Moralea Milne. We send our love and healing to her family, friends, and community. We are truly grateful for the knowledge and dedication of spirit she shared with us. She will be deeply missed. 


Quotes from Moralea's wonderful blog: camashill.blogspot.com 



 Photo of HAT staff with Moralea on Camas Hill, May 2018.



Restoring Natural Habitat on the Trial Islands

Restoring Natural Habitat on the Trial Islands

By: Liam Guy

Sunshine, Water, and…Ivy? An unlikely combination to be sure, but one that can be found in abundance on the Trial Islands. Located off of the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island, this small island group was the site of an invasive woody plant removal [M1]effort spearheaded by biologist Matt Fairbarns. A rare-plant expert and experienced biologist, Matt has been the lead on invasive removal efforts on the Trial Islands (Greater and Lesser) for more than a decade and has been a major driving force behind the conservation of the rare native species found there. I received an offer to join Matt and his crew for the day - unsure as to what I was getting myself into, I was pleasantly surprised by the work, the site, and the camaraderie exhibited by Matt and his crew.

One thing that immediately struck me about the Trial Islands was their beauty , both in terms of the sights, sounds and abundance of unique plants. The Trial Islands are home to 20 rare vascular plant species, 11 of which are extremely rare in BC, making it both an island in the literal and ecological sense. One personal highlight was getting a look at the rare Golden Paintbrush. [AV2]Plenty[M3] of animals could be found on site as well; Harlequin Ducks and Harbour[M4] Seals (among many others) all made an appearance at one point or another. Blue skies, a slight breeze, and the gentle, rhythmic swash of the waves upon the shoreline give the island a distinct feeling of peace and quiet; it is strange to think that this small pocket of nature is located so close to Vancouver Island.

Our efforts were focused on a rocky, densely vegetated thicket located within the southern ecological reserve. Greater Trial island, while hosting an Ecological Reserve[M5], is also host to a CFAX owned radio antenna array and a Lighthouse property. The Ecological Reserve is made up of a “northern” and “southern” section, with the CFAX property wedged in between these zones. A thick cover of native roses, snowberry, and other native species made our work difficult and, at times, painful, but also provided distinct feelings of satisfaction when a particularly difficult or long vine was pulled from the site. Matt and his crew were an absolute delight to work with throughout the entire experience. Despite the challenging work, everyone got along, worked hard, and were able to keep conversation with one another. Who knew working neck-deep in rose bushes could be so fun? The resident lighthouse keeper, Meredith and her two dogs Seth and Sky were welcome additions to the cast as well, providing a canine break from our labours.

The Trial Islands are some of BC’s most ecologically valuable places, without a doubt, and definitely needs the time and effort currently bestowed upon them. The work we were there to perform, while not glamorous, created tangible results. In total, we removed about 10-12 cubic metres [M6]of English Ivy, clearing much of the biomass from our work site and setting the table for future crews to come and begin removal of the root mass. It has been a long road to travel but[M7] the finish line is now clearly within sight - I hope to be around to see it for myself!

A big thank you to Matt Fairbarns for his hospitality and willingness to take me on for the day, and to the crew for being so welcoming. We will keep the HAT community up-to-date with any new developments on the Trial Islands.

goldenpaintbrush 1 Nicole Kroeker 2017Trial Island Jordana Herron 2017 3Trial Island Jordana Herron 2017Trial Island Jordana Herron 2017 2

Photos from Left to Right: Golden Paintbrush Castilleja levisecta - Nicole Kroeker (2017); Trial Island Lighthouse - Jordana Herron (2017) ; Trial Island Coastline - Jordana Herron (2017); Volunteers at work - Jordana Herron (2017)


Donate Now




Subscribe to The Fern, HAT's e-newsletter and stay up to date!


Upcoming Events

No events

Login Form