Our restoration work this year kicked off on January 29th with 25 volunteers tackling invasive species at the Atkins covenant, located near Thetis Lake in Victoria. Volunteers from the Greater Victoria Green Team (GVGT) and the Capital Regional District (CRD) joined TLC volunteers to remove English ivy, English holly, Himalayan blackberry and daphne laurel from a beautiful park reserve owned by the CRD. This 4.5 acre covenant contains a Garry oak meadow and is bordered by the salmon- and trout-bearing Millstream Creek. With so many invasive species, we needed as much muscle as we could gather to make a dent – and dent we did! Approximately 4 cubic metres of invasive species biomass were removed from an area of 600 square metres, as well as 55 pounds of garbage – including an old tire, remnants of computers, a wetsuit and other strange items! Probably the most uplifting piece of “garbage” found in the woods that day was a sign that reminded viewers “You aren’t in the universe, you ARE the universe”. What a lovely sentiment.
The day began with introductions from all participants before splitting into groups to tackle different invasive species. The crew worked hard for awhile before taking a break to enjoy some tasty treats donated by COBS Bread, as well as wonderful goodies like fair-trade chocolate from Cocoa Camino and native Columbine wildflower seeds to sow at our leisure. After the sugar rush subsided they got back to work, amassing a huge amount of blackberry, daphne, ivy and holly by the end of the day. You can read more about the event from the GVGT’s report.
It can be overwhelming to see the sheer amount of invasive species on sites like Atkins, and one can wonder if they’ll ever make progress… but having such a large group of hard working people can turn all of that around. We are so proud of and grateful to those who helped make a difference that day, reminding us of Margaret Mead’s powerful words: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
You can help TLC continue to protect important ecosystems across BC by supporting the restoration and monitoring of our conservation covenants. Volunteer at our next event or donate online to show your support today!