Henderson Project Activities

Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Henderson Park Restoration Project Activities

The Project So Far ...

Summary of Activities - 2011

Some of the above activities are also being undertaken in partnership with the Mayne School, offering opportunities for hands-on learning through participation in restoration activities. Workshops are also being complemented with speakers and "walk and talk" events in the park and other community locations, the details of which are posted in the Talks & Walks page of this website.

Regular work parties are currently being held to systematically remove scotch broom from the park. Our hope is to completely remove broom from the top of Vulture Ridge to the point where only yearly monitoring is required to pull out new sprouts. This will require diligence and commitment, but with enough involvement from the community it is an attainable goal. We are also continuing to monitor the park for the red-listed sharp-tailed snake. In addition, an interpretive trail intended to increase awareness of the park’s ecology and ongoing restoration activities is currently being developed, and set to be installed in the spring.

Over the course of the summer, seeds were collected for a wide range of native plants for the purpose of propagation. Currently over 30 species have been planted, including

Some – stonecrop, yarrow, wooly sunflower, and the grasses, have already germinated. These plants will be used for restoration purposes in Henderson Park, and will also be available for purchase by community members.

As part of the Mayne Island Community Stewardship Program, these activities have received funding from TD Friends of the Environment, VanCity Credit Union under their Community and Enviro programs, CRD Grants in Aid, Mayne Island Parks & Recreation Committee, and EcoAction (Government of Canada). For information on how to get involved with any of these activities as a volunteer, please visit here and here

Summary of Activities - 2010

Miriam, the MICS intern, began her appointment in March and worked to expand our restoration and educational activities in Henderson Park.

We have installed deer fencing on a hillside where we cleared off broom. You can already see the difference in plants inside the deer fencing! Thanks for your help, BAT volunteers.

On April 9th the Mayne School's 4-8 class rode their bicycles and hiked Punch's Alley to join Miriam and Leanna at Henderson Park. Miriam led a talk about Garry Oak ecosystems and colourfully described the types of flowers you would typically see in the spring. She also spoke about how the First Peoples cultivated camas as a food crop, maintaining the conditions for Garry Oak to thrive. The students participated in stewarding the park by planting trees in the restoration site. They will monitor the trees over time, charting their growth rate.

On May 3 the K-4 classes visited the park, where we talked about the Garry Oak trees and the wild flower Camas that were planted as part of the ecological restoration in the park. The group walked into the park where the children collected leaves to look at the different shapes and created a tree book by making crayon rubbings with leaves and bark. We finished off the day with a walk down towards the beach where we talked about First Nations' use of plants that grow along the trail. The weather was perfect and the kids were happy!

With the help of a couple of keen volunteers, we've completed the installation of our photo-point monitoring locations in Henderson Park: enabling us to take photos from the same location over time. This will help us document our ecological restoration activities (like tree planting and broom removal) and will show changes in the vegetation over time. This monitoring program will also help us determine what works best in the long-run so we can then concentrate our efforts on the more successful methods.

Seedlings planted in 2010 are well started having benefited from at least 2 full years of growth before being set out:

  • Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • Grand fir (Abies grandis)
  • Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)
The planting sites were selected according to each tree species' preferences, for instance the cedars were placed in wetter/richer soils, the grand fir in drier/poorer soils, while the douglas fir can survive in the least favourable locations. A greater number of seedlings were set out when the poorer soils were involved as higher mortality might be expected on those sites.

Earlier Phases

Phase 1 of the project (ended September 2008) involved establishing a scientific base for restoration and monitoring activities. MICS engaged experts to help us inventory the park's flora and geological features, and then developed a restoration plan. In the spring of 2010, we developed and installed a photo-monitoring program designed for trained citizen scientists, thus ensuring the program's sustainability. Phase 2 of the project involved the construction of a deer exclosure in a portion of the park's Garry Oak habitat, where plantings of native wildflower and shrub species were carried out. The exclosure offers an example of the ecosystem's response when it is relieved of the impact of our island's overabundance of deer.

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