Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)

Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

Oak Haven Park in Central Saanich is among local sites receiving new funding aimed at restoring Garry oak ecosystems.

Wendy Tyrrell, habitat management coordinator with Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), said HAT’s restoration crew will be restoring the Garry Oak ecosystem in that park this year, removing invasive plants and restoring a population of a rare plant found there.

The project is among is among 12 projects in the Capital Regional District (CRD) for HAT has received $140,000 to facilitate as part Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative with funding from Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MOE).

RELATED: 23-hectare land donation in Highlands extends permanent habitat protection

“(We) are grateful to have the opportunity to not only enhance the habitat restoration on some of the private and public lands that have been protected permanently through HAT conservation covenants, but also to share these funds with our land manager partners to further support Garry Oak Ecosystem recovery in our region,” said Tyrrell.

HAT said in a release the funding allows the society to create a restoration crew with three restoration field technicians to work on protected lands and help build community partnerships with other agencies also carrying out Garry oak ecosystem restoration in the Salish Sea region.

RELATED: VIDEO: Landowners creating backyard wildlife habitats in Greater Victoria

Garry oaks, named after Nicholas Garry, deputy governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1822 to 1835, are the only native oak trees in western Canada west of Manitoba. Once common in the Pacific Northwest, less than five per cent of Garry oak ecosystems remain. As such, they rank among the most endangered in Canada. They provide habitat for a range of wildlife and have provided resources for food, medicines and tools for humans for millennia.

HAT is a regional land trust that helps people understand and care for natural environments in the region.


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