On November 5th, TLC once again joined forces with CRD volunteers to remove invasive species from the Atkins Covenant. Owned by the CRD, this small parcel was once a homestead and offers a surprising diversity of native, invasive and cultivated species. Unfortunately, some of the invasive species have been growing too well, so volunteers took to task and ripped them out!

With about 10 people showing up despite the rain, we removed so much invasive species biomass that we had to call in additional reinforcements to dispose of it all! Thank you to the CRD Parks staff who helped make sure the invasives went where they belonged.

A few interesting species were found that day, including beautiful unidentified mushrooms growing on a fallen branch. Another invasive species was also found, but this one moves quite fast – so fast they are known for it! Meet Limax maximus, the Great Grey slug, also known as the Leopard Slug. This species has a very unusual and distinctive mating method where the pair of slugs use a thick thread of mucus to hang suspended in the air from a tree branch or other structure. While we didn’t get to see such a spectacular sight that day, there will undoubtedly be more chances as the slug is, unfortunately, a voracious eater and proliferator who also happens to be invasive. Darn.

The rain didn’t deter people from working hard, and in fact may have made them work harder to keep warm! Volunteers tore through the remaining St. John’s Wort, tackled all the Scotch broom on site, and even began removing daphne and ivy. It was a very successful day made more enjoyable by the great people who shared it with us.

TLC will be returning to this covenant on January 29th with the CRD, this time bolstered by the Greater Victoria Green Team volunteers as well! If you would like to get in on the fun, please contact Torrey Archer at covenants@conservancy.bc.ca for more information.