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.


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!



Owl(s) be home for summer!


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



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




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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The Great Canadian Giving Challenge 2019

Join the Great Canadian Giving Challenge by donating to HAT before June 30th, 2019!

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Every dollar donated in June is a chance for us to WIN!

Donate to HAT during the month of June and automatically enter us to WIN $10,000 during the Great Canadian Giving Challenge. Every $1 donation is one entry into the contest for HAT! 

Just a single donation could help us restore a plot of native habitat, supply materials for our educational programs, or help us improve habitat for species at risk!

If you win the $10,000 prize for HAT, you can make an even bigger difference! $10,000 could supply over 75 bat boxes to support over 15,000 bats, 100 Western Screech-owl nest boxes, build and care for native plant learning gardens at our Green Spots Schools, or purchase equipment needed to conduct restoration in threated habitats across south Vancouver Island.

Search for 'Habitat Acquisition Trust' on Canada HelpsThe Great Canadian Giving Challenge or click here!

Then, pick your way to give: give once or schedule monthly donations, donate securities or mutual funds, or fundraise.

Find us on Canada Helps: Habitat Acquisition Trust

Donate through Canada Helps or our Website
Every $1* donated on CanadaHelps.org is a chance to win!(*Minimum $3 donation required).

The winner will be announced on July 1st, 2019.

Support HAT today and make a BIG impact!a885767b.canada helps logo


You could make a difference today!

- Enhance bat and Western Screech-owl habitat through installing bat boxes and nest boxes in critical habitat and give them a fighting chance.

- Provide native plants for a pollinator hedgerow or habitat restoration project in your area.

- Give much needed equipment and supplies to our species at risk monitoring and habitat restoration programs.

Imagine the difference $10,000 could make tomorrow.

- Restore critically endangered Garry Oak meadow or coastal Douglas-fir Habitat on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands

- Enable the permanent protection and conservation of hundreds of hectares of threatened habitat through conservation covenants!

- Empower and educate over 100 local land owners in becoming better stewards of their land through intensive workshops, site visits and presentations


Terms & Conditions* Donations must be made via GivingChallenge.ca or CanadaHelps.org. Minimum $3 donation required. Contest runs from June 1, 2019 at midnight Newfoundland Daylight Time (NDT) to June 30, 2019 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). One (1) CAD $10,000 donation from The GIV3 Foundation to selected charity available to be won. Odds of charity winning depend on number of entries received. Math skill-test required. See full rules at: http://givingchallenge.ca/rules.html.



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