Volunteer Spotlight - Rachelle Shearing

At HAT we are so often blessed with incredible people who are willing to dedicate their valuable time to help us complete projects that we otherwise don’t have the capacity to do. Without volunteers much of the work that HAT does would not be possible and for that we are so grateful. Thank you to Rachelle Shearing who has been helping us by using her magical GIS skills to build beautiful maps. Rachelle is going to be starting up her own GIS company Sentry Consulting, and though we are so sad to see her go we wish her the best of luck! Below you can read about Rachelle and her experience volunteering for HAT.

Over the last four months, I have had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer for the Habitat Acquisition Trust. I approached HAT offering my GIS (Geographic Information Systems) skills and Barb Von Sacken had a project already in mind. Together, we created a spatial database to visualize properties that had been inquired about, but never made it into a covenant. This will be helpful to HAT in the future when they want to assess new properties.


Read more: Volunteer Spotlight - Rachelle Shearing

Galiano Restoration Day

A few Wednesdays ago HAT staff, Wendy and Sara, and a small team of six volunteers, went over to Galiano Island for a day of restoration in Garry oak meadows on one of HAT’s covenant lands. The storms held off just in time, and the restoration crew was able to remove over 3 cubic metres of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) before the rains came and new COVID-19 gathering restrictions were put in place.


Read more: Galiano Restoration Day

Covenant Monitoring 2020

A large part of what HAT does is behind the scenes as we take an active role in making sure that the lands we have committed to protecting continue to flourish. This means monitoring our 16 covenants every year! Monitoring activities are headed by our Land Protection Coordinator Barb von Sacken with the incredible support of  landowners and volunteers. While the monitoring takes place we sometimes have the time to take pictures of the beautiful locations we are honoured to walk on. We hope you enjoy some of our favourite photos!


Read more: Covenant Monitoring 2020

Bat Walk and Talk

As part of International Bat Week (October 24 to 31), HAT staff Ronna (Outreach and Bat Program Coordinator) and Sara (Conservation Technician) led a Batty Walk and Talk at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific (HCP) this past Saturday, October 24th. It was a beautiful sunny and crisp autumn day with over 30 attendees keen to learn all about the bats that call this place home. In the walk and talk, participants had the opportunity to explore the native plant and Japanese gardens, and learn all about the nine species of bat we have on Vancouver Island. From the food they eat (insects) to the variety of habitats they live in (trees, attics, caves, and bat houses), the threats bats are facing (logging, development, pesticides, homeowner fear), and ways that individuals and landowners can help save these bat species (support the protection of forests and wetlands, allow bats to live in human structures, adopt a bat with HAT). As part of the event, Sara led a bat ID activity where participants, the budding bat stewards, matched photos of the nine bat species on Vancouver Island to corresponding clue cards about each bat they found on a scavenger hunt. We had a bat-tastic time delivering this event with Paula and Megan from HCP, and hope to lead more events like it in the future! If you would like to learn more about our bat program or how to Adopt-a-Bat through HAT, send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

(Above) Sara Lax (left) and Ronna Woudstra (right) showing of their batty outfits after a long day of bat education! Ronna is holding a bat box that has been cut in half to show the crevices that it provides for bats.


Read more: Bat Walk and Talk

Bat Box Stories

Have you seen bats flying above your property? Then you might make an awesome candidate for a bat box. Bat boxes provide habitat for some of our endangered species of bat and many incredible community members even build their own. Here are some success stories and pictures from bat stewards in the area. If you feel inspired you do it too! Read more to learn about bat boxes!



Read more: Bat Box Stories

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