Planting Slim-leaf Onion at Oak Haven Park
HAT holds a Conservation Covenant on Oak Haven Park, a Central Saanich municipal park. Central Saanich asked HAT to register a covenant on the park to ensure that future generations would continue to respect and protect the rare Garry Oak meadows and wildflowers that give the park its name. Oak Haven Municipal Park is a 10-hectare rocky outcrop of endangered Garry Oak and associated ecosystems. Unique and beautiful, Garry Oak ecosystems are considered one of the three most threatened in Canada.
Why Oak Haven Park:
Natasha d’Entremont published a study with more detail about the Slim-leaf Onion and recommendations about how it can be protected and want steps needed to be taken to ensure the continued growth of this Blue Listed vulnerable species. Check out the report here. Shortly after Natasha's study Matt Fairbarns wrote a report/Mitigation Plan following the McKenzie/Highway 1 Interchange construction. In this report, Matt Highlights Oak Haven Park and talking about Restoration goals, outcomes and cost. Both Natasha's and Matt's studies show that Oak Haven Park's Garry Oak ecosystem needs some management.
It is important to note that first nation peoples stewarded and managed Garry oak ecosystems, using fire and cultivation long before settlers came to the west coast. Garry Oak ecosystems once thrived on Vancouver island due to the first nation peoples stewardship. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks wrote a report in 1993 with lots of information (Report Here). If you're more into videos and audio learning, Cheryl Bryce is from the Songhees Nation, traditionally known as Lekwungen. "Lekwungen women are the backbone of the Kwetlal food system (Garry Oak ecosystems) by managing it for centuries and maintaining their connections to their homelands with traditional laws and practices." (Video Here)
What work has HAT been doing:
Throughout summer 2021, HAT's Restoration crew has been clearing Scotch broom and Laurel Daphne from the site. This leaves room for native plants to take the space and sun from these invasive species. On September 15th, after a long summer of pulling and removing invasive species, the crew began planting Slim-leaf Onion. As mentioned before, Slim-leaf Onion is a Blue Listed vulnerable species. Following planting recommendations from David R. Clements's 2013 study, HAT set up "satellite" sites with the idea that the planets will grow and spread. Shortly after the planting at these satellite sites, HAT held a Restoration event for volunteers on September 26th.
With rain threatening, the overcast sky looking down heavily, and more than a couple of songs echoing through the trees, a small group of volunteers from Wavelengths Community Choir, the Getting’ Higher Choir, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area (BBBS), and HAT spent some time removing Laurel Daphne to support the Slim-leaf onion as it returns to the crags and hills of this beautiful section of Tsartlip territory. For the second year in a row, volunteers from these great community groups came together to strengthen our relationships while getting our hands in the earth to support the ecosystems that support our wellbeing on these territories. The weather was with us, and we managed to be gifted a long break in the rain while working. Another great year with another great bunch of people.
Please see their websites for more information on Wavelengths Community Choir, the Getting’ Higher Choir, and/or Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria and Area. Both choirs are wonderful communities that come together through song to benefit social causes that call to their hearts, and BBBS changes the lives of their participants through forming solid relationships between generations.
Photo from the event:
References and Links
Natasha d’Entremont study - http://www.urbanecology.ca/documents/PDF's/dEntremont.pdf
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks 1993 report - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/plants-animals-and-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/publications/erickson_garry_oak.pdf
Cheryl Bryce, Exploring a Garry Oak Ecosystem (Video) - https://vimeo.com/405250132
David R. Clements study - https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjb-2012-0269
Wavelengths Community Choir - https://wavelengthschoir.ca/
The Getting’ Higher Choir - http://www.gettinhigherchoir.ca/
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria and Area - https://victoria.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/