On March 2nd the Conservancy hosted 18 volunteers from the University of Victoria’s Ecological Restoration Club. The Club members made the trek from Victoria for the day, and we were lucky to have some great weather. This was the third consecutive year the Club has joined us, and as usual it was a rewarding day full of learning and habitat restoration.

We started the day with a presentation by our biologist Rob Underhill, who talked a bit about the Conservancy and the challenges facing natural ecosystems on SḴŦAḴ/Mayne Island. We talked about the different habitat restoration projects we’ve worked on, the challenges we’ve faced, and what we’ve learned. It was a great opportunity to share our knowledge with a dedicated group of young professionals, and to get new perspectives on our work. We reviewed the work we’ve done to date restoring the wetland at Hedgerow Farm before heading to the site.

When we arrived on-site, we ate a quick lunch and enjoyed a welcome from landholders Peter and Kristine before carrying plants and equipment to the restoration site. We split into two groups, with one group planting trees and shrubs while the other tackled Himalayan blackberry, switching part way so everyone had a turn at different tasks.

Hosting the UVic Restoration Club is always a pleasure, and a win-win for both organizations. The Conservancy gets nearly 60 hours of free labour and an opportunity to promote our conservation message, while the Club members get a valuable learning experience. Both partners learn from each other, and everyone enjoys a rewarding day improving the environment for humans and wildlife.

A special thanks to all the Club members, lead organizer Katia Bannister, and to Kristine and Peter for their dedication to the wetland restoration and willingness to use the site as a place of learning.


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