Thursday, February 05, 2009

Some invasive species in this region

Over this fall the 3rd Douglas Scouts have been working on a restoration project at Point Ellice House. The youth have been working with Jody of the CRD, and other voluteer to remove English Ivy as part of the Gorge Waterway Iniative. They have helped remove about 11.5 tonnes from the shoreline and will be helping to plant native species.

One of my goals as a Scout leader is to instill a sense of community service, environmental stewardship, and personal responsibility into boys aged 10 to 15 years old. I am getting the boys to give up part of their weekend to come and work on a project that will help the whole community and the environment. Feel free to help our work with the youth by making a donation to 3rd Douglas - 505 Marigold Rd V8Z 4R3. Donations are tax decductible.

It is amazing how much damage this ivy is doing through out the region and how hard it is to remove. As an example, while I was driving along Tattersal, I looked down Cloverdale Creek and saw that the trees are being completely chocked by the ivy. You can also see the problem at Knockan Hill Park and in Mount Doug - there are work parties in Mount Doug this month, click on their events link.

I think that there has to be serious consideration given to using Roundup to deal with the problem because so few people are willing the personal responsibility and initiative and get involved with restoration projects. I know a lot of people hate Monsanto and are opposed to using any sort of herbicide, but Roundup is not at all dangerous.

English Ivy is not the only invasive species in the region, another problem is broom, it destroys a lot of ecosystems. Here is the name and bio of the man that brought it here, I think we should hold some sort of Guy Fawkes night thing for him.

Back in the 1990s the Mount Tolmie Conservation Association put a lot of effort into removing broom from the hill. Broom is particullary bad for the Garry Oak meadows. The work needs to be continually redone. Mount Tolmie is just one of 13 Garry Oak restoration sites in Saanich.

1 comment:

Betsy Rose said...

I've read your blog several times now and I'm really impressed by the way you write about Victoria from a natural perspective.

This post caught my eye because of the work your Scouts are doing at Point Ellice House. We know this ivy well because we were invited to visit the property last year -- could our staff remove the ivy? We didn't have the people at that time and have regretted that we were not able to help. Good work, Scouts! What a huge job -- and what a huge difference all your hard work will make.

One of my coworkers has a project on the go that might interest you. With partners in Washington, she is bringing nesting pairs of rare Western Bluebirds back to Garry oak habitats where they once flourished (but had disappeared). While I am not aware of all the details, I know that she is looking for people who could use supplied wood to build nest boxes for these birds. Often our volunteer carpenters want to hang the nest boxes on their property, but beccause there are so few Bluebirds, they would end up in more remote locations, like parks. Once up, I will be looking for Bluebird Stewards who would regularly walk past the next boxes with a clipboard and fill in how many adults and chicks they see. If this project offers age-appropriate learning activities for the Scouts, I would be happy to tell you more.

Also, I wanted to thank you, on behalf of our organization, for linking to our website, This kind of support really makes a difference.

Betsy Rose
Financial Administration / Outreach
Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)
209 - 606 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1B6
Tel: 250-383-3427

A lifeline for our rarest species.