News Archive

Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Conservation News Archive

NATIONAL RESULTS FOR 2011'S BAILLIE BIRDATHON 2012-02-08

Thousands Raised for Conservation & Other Interested Groups

The Baillie Birdathon has raised more than $250,000 in 2011 for bird research and conservation - an all-time record! Of the total amount raised, over $26,500 will support the Baillie Fund. Cheques totaling just over $104,000 have been sent to the 97 conservation clubs and migration monitoring stations across the country that were designated by participants to receive a portion of the funds they raised. Bird Studies Canada would like to thank all participants, sponsors, prize donors, naturalist clubs, and bird observatories involved for their dedication in ensuring this continuing success.

Full story and Michael Dunn's local report is available here

ISLANDS TRUST LAUNCHES TRUST AREA MAPPING 2012-01-10

Explore Your Islands with MapIT

This web page (www.islandstrust.bc.ca/lup/map/default.cfm) is the gateway to Map Islands Trust (MapIT) - an island information web map application, providing public access to ecological, property, and other valuable mapping information maintained within the Islands Trust Geographic Information System (GIS).

All are invited to check out this application - could be the Cool Tool of the Year as far as Gulf Islands geography is concerned

BAILLIE BIRDATHON RESULTS 2011-05-31

Michael Dunn Reports on the 2011 Bird Count

On Thursday May 19th, I did my annual spring bird blitz for the Baillie Birdathon. Incredibly I was able to tally 74 species this year. I was rewarded with seeing a Yellow Warbler which I have not seen for quite a few years; also Surf Scoters and Harlequin Ducks in molting plumage; a Barred Owl at 2 in the afternoon carrying a Garter Snake; Cedar Waxwings; and a highlight - a Hammond's Flycatcher which is quite rare on the coast as it breeds in the mountains. So for all those who have donated or pledged thank you very much, for those who still wish to, please try the website below. Otherwise let me know how you wish to pay. For cheques please make them payable to Bird Studies Canada. Last year I tallied 73 species in the 24 hour period. Thank you for your support. Remember a portion of the amount raised will come back to Mayne Island to support bird research, education and conservation. This year I have a webpage assigned to me and you can use that to make your pledge/donation, please use the following site: http://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1914&AID=1491&PID=199033.

H.A.T. IS CALLING ALL CITIZEN SCIENTISTS 2011-04-06

Check your Boards and Roads for Sharpies, Painted Turtles!

Spring is here: the wildflower meadows are getting ready to burst, and the songbirds are trilling with all their might. This is when the Sharp-tailed Snake is most active, seeking out meals of molluscs when the ground is wet, but warming. Western Painted Turtles are waking too. Young turtles, which have been resting in their nest over the winter, are emerging to travel to nearby lakes and wetlands where they will grow.

For Habitat & Snake Stewards now is the most important time of year to check your boards. The Sharp-tailed Snake is famously elusive, but early spring is your best hope of finding one these small, harmless, and critically endangered snakes. While checking your boards, please bring a camera if you can, and remember not to disturb natural cover. If you are fortunate enough to find a snake, take some pictures and send them to HAT! To see more about our rare and threatened species visit this Habitat Acquisition Trust page

LATEST ON THE BCMCA WEB SITE 2011-03-11

Marine Atlas and Data Library Published

The British Columbia Marine Conservation Analysis (BCMCA) is a collaborative project designed to provide information about marine biodiversity and human activity in BC’s marine waters. With the creation of a comprehensive atlas and in-depth analysis, they are providing tools to help inform decisions about ocean management. They have just published their updated marine atlas and data library. The Mayne Island Conservancy Society's Eelgrass Mapping Project contributed data to this important repository for marine research of all kinds. Visit http://www.bcmca.ca/data to find out more.

GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK RESERVE SPEAKER EVENT 2011-02-20

Plants & Mammals & Birds…Oh My!

Invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry, fallow deer, and non-migratory Canada geese have had devastating effects on the unique ecosystems of this region. Since 2003 Parks Canada has been restoring natural areas on several of the islands within Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

Eight years later Parks Canada is closer to achieving the restoration goals for these islands by removing key threats so that native plants and animals can thrive with minimum human intervention.

So what does the future hold for the islands we know and love? Join Nicole Kroeker, ecosystem scientist, for a discussion on the interactions between native and introduced invasive species found on Anniversary Island, Eagle Island, and other islets in the park. Find out about the work being done in your backyard to help restore these unique areas. Light refreshments provided.

Contact Susan MacIsaac, (250) 478-5122 for more information.
Agricultural Hall, Mayne Island, BC
Friday February 25th, 2011, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

MICS CONTRACTED BY PARKS CANADA 2011-02-17

Mayne Island Conservancy to prepare a Restoration Plan for Bennett Bay

The Mayne Island Conservancy has been contracted by Gulf Islands National Park Reserve to deliver a Restoration Plan for the Bennett Bay Unit of the park reserve. The work to develop the plan will be undertaken by MICS' intern with Geographic Information System assistance from the Galiano Conservancy Association and the support of Board members. The Society will be employing existing field equipment and computer resources in the execution of this contract, to be completed by March 31, 2011.

As the contracted work progresses, and at completion, a summary of processes used and, with the agreement of Parks Canada, an indication of our recommendations will be posted on the web site together with photographs taken during the work.

FIELD GUIDE TO COASTAL B.C.'S RARE SPECIES NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE 2011-02-16

British Columbia's Coast Region: Species and Ecosystems of Conservation Concern

This on-line database is a joint venture product that provides an up-to-date, comprehensive exploration of representative species and plant communities that are of regional, provincial and federal conservation concern in British Columbia. This new set of online resources builds on the Field Guide to Species at Risk in the Coast Region of British Columbia produced in 2003 by Interfor and the BC Ministry of Environment. Revised in a new user friendly and informative format for 2010, these online factsheets provide a virtual desktop and field reference for government staff, industry, environmental professionals and naturalists. This reflects audiences that not only have an interest in local biodiversity, but are involved in influencing conservation and land use decisions to protect it. Each factsheet provides species conservation ranking, field identification tips, ecology and links to management requirements and resources.

MICS RECEIVES A DONATION FROM THE TD BANK 2011-02-09

The TD Bank Friends of the Environment donate $4500 to the Henderson Hill Restoration Project

The Mayne Island Conservancy Society thanks the Friends of the Environment of the TD Bank for their grant of $4500 to assist with the ongoing costs associated with the restoration of the native of ecology in the new Henderson Hill Community Park. This project, begun in 2009 has included the removal of invasive species, the protection of a large area from deer browse and an extensive planting program. For more information about this project please visit our Henderson Hill page.

MAYNE ISLAND CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT 2011-05-09

Michael Dunn Reports on the 2010 Christmas Bird Count on Mayne.

December 18, 2010 dawned with winds and rain, a very inauspicious start to this annual winter bird count. Nonetheless, 24 intrepid observers spent the day trying to observe as many of our wintering birds as possible despite the conditions. In all, 73 species were tallied representing 4,666 individual birds. The number of species is within our medium range for past counts, but the total numbers were well down from the previous year (5,146). Notable sightings this year included Townsend's Warbler, which is very rare as a wintering bird but was seen this year in counts on Vancouver Island. Chipping Sparrow is another rare winter bird that was also observed last year. Other birds of interest included a lone Wilson's Snipe, a Lesser Scaup, one Western Grebe, and one Northern Saw Whet Owl calling in the daytime.

We also broke some records for our Mayne count area in terms of certain species' numbers, for instance:

Surfbirds50Band-tailed Pigeons21
Anna's Hummingbird8 Northern Flicker 65
Northwestern Crow149Brown Creeper19
Hermit Thrush5Slate-coloured Dark-eyed Juncos38

The top 10 species for this year were no surprise, among them:

Dark-eyed Juncos681Chestnut-backed Chickadee 498
Golden-crowned Kinglet342Barrow's Goldeneye285
Pacific Loon274American Robin 255
Pine Siskin230Northwestern Crow149
Canada Goose 144Bufflehead 138
Spotted Towhee138  

Thank you to all the participants and property owners who allowed counters on their lands.

LTABC ANNOUNCES ANNUAL SEMINAR SERIES 2011-02-10

Land Trust Alliance of BC’s Annual Conservation and Stewardship Seminar Series

Join BC’s land trusts, naturalists, stewardship, conservation and land use organizations & agencies in this three day Conservation and Stewardship conference on April 1 to 3rd, at the Harbour Towers Hotel, Victoria, BC.

This event is open to all and includes:

  • Site visits to Madrona Farm, Island View Beach and other beautiful Victoria areas
  • Full and half day workshops on: Innovative Conservation Financing, Building Sustainable Board and Governance Structures
  • Renowned Plenary Speakers: Story Clark and Richard Hebda
  • Plus 15+ Seminars on conserving, sustaining and stewarding BC’s natural and cultural diversity

Register by February 11 for a chance to win 2 night's accommodation in a one bedroom suite at the Harbour Towers. Early Bird rates will be given to those who register by March 1.

For program registration and further info on site visits and workshops, visit www.landtrustalliance.bc.ca or contact us at info@landtrustalliance.bc.ca or 250-477-4766.



GOERT ANNOUNCES RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM 2010-12-23

It’s time to mark your calendars for Friday, February 11th, 2011 for the 8th annual GOERT Research Colloquium!

As in the past, the purpose of the Research Colloquium is to bring together people who are planning or conducting research and restoration projects relevant to Garry oak ecosystems to have them present brief descriptions of their studies and results to prompt discussion and encourage coordination among agencies.

We hope that all who are interested in contributing, either in person or via an Abstract for inclusion in the Proceedings (distributed via email after the Colloquium), will respond. As always, we encourage students to present a talk on their current or planned work relevant to Garry oak ecosystems; the Colloquium is a great venue to elicit constructive comment. GOERT provides a free lunch (yes, free!) for all student presenters.

Please note the presenter registration deadline of January 21st; those offering a talk are requested to complete the Registration form by that date so that we can draft the Program to accommodate travel plans and organize audio-visual needs and cafeteria orders. The deadline for general participants is February 4th.

We are looking forward to having you there!

  • What: 8th Annual GOERT Research Colloquium

  • When: Friday February 11, 2011

  • Where: Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria

  • Deadline for presenters: January 21, 2011

  • Deadline for participants: February 4, 2011
Please download the registration form and return it to GOERT



ISLANDS TRUST FUND ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP ON ADVISORY PANEL 2010-10-16

The Islands Trust Fund is looking towards the horizon and needs your help.

The Islands Trust Fund invites applications from Islands Trust Area landowners and residents interested in sitting as members on Regional Conservation Plan Advisory Panels to provide advice and guidance on the draft 2011-2015 Regional Conservation Plan.

The Regional Conservation Plan outlines goals and objectives for land conservation in the Islands Trust Area, and sets out a strategy for the Islands Trust Fund to meet those goals and objectives. Sitting on a Regional Conservation Plan Advisory Panel is an excellent opportunity for islanders interested in and knowledgeable of conservation to help guide the direction of land conservation and preservation in the Islands Trust Area.

Want to know more? - Start by visitlng us online at http://www.islandstrustfund.bc.ca/news/pdf/itfnewsoct132010.pdf to view the draft Plan and learn how you can apply for a position on one of the panels.

PLANNING A MORE ENGAGED AND POLITICALLY AWARE COMMUNITY 2010-10-10

A M.I. Group Announces a Community Workshop

Come to the Ag Hall
1 pm, Sunday October 17th
for a presentation by special guest Sheila Malcolmson, Chair of the Islands Trust, followed by a Q&A and discussion.

Bring your ideas, questions and creative energy.

Also see 1972 video interview with Alan Steward (one time owner of Hardscrabble Farm) called Islands in Transition.

For further information contact Deb Foote, organicdeb@shaw.ca

ISLANDS TRUST RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED 2010-10-05

UBCM backs Marine Environment Conservation

Two key resolutions initiated by the Islands Trust to protect the marine environment were endorsed at the annual convention on September 30 attended by more than 1000 representatives of local government throughout BC. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) endorsed both a resolution to deal with derelict vessels and another supporting a National Marine Conservation Area over the southern Strait of Georgia.

Details at http://islandstrust.bc.ca/news/pdf/newsoct052010.pdf

GARRY OAK ECOSYSTEM RECOVERY TEAM 2010-9-18

Come to our AGM October 6, 2010

We had such a great turn-out last year, we hope you’ll join us again this year for another enjoyable get-together.

  • When: Wednesday, October 6th, 4:30 — 8:30 pm

  • Where: Pacific Forestry Centre (PFC), 506 West Burnside Road, Victoria

  • What: An evening of good food, friends, special presentations from our Restoration and Management RIG, and the AGM.

We hope you can join us on October 6th to celebrate and connect with other GOERT members and supporters. The event includes appetizers and beverages, a cash bar, silent auction, and local art on display with artists in attendance. We’ll also be presenting a sneak peek of our upcoming Compendium of Garry Oak Ecosystems Restoration publication and will have a panel discussion on the use of prescribed fire as a restoration tool in Garry oak ecosystems.

PLEASE REGISTER BY MONDAY SEPT 27th ($15 includes annual membership fee, snacks, buffet dinner) by paying online (under ‘donate through PayPal or credit card’) or contacting us at info@goert.ca or 250-383-3427. Please help us grow our membership by bringing a friend — and remember to register by September 27th!

PROTECT ESTUARIES FOR EFFECTIVE SEA BURIAL OF CARBON: SIERRA CLUB BC 2010-08-26

BC’s estuaries hold extraordinary potential for moderating climate change

BC’s estuaries hold extraordinary potential for moderating climate change and should be our highest priority for conservation of any marine or terrestrial habitat, according to a new Sierra Club BC report.

The report, entitled Blue Carbon – British Columbia, evaluates the carbon storage potential of two high productivity marine habitats – salt marsh and seagrass meadows – in the light of a recent discovery of the crucial role of estuarine vegetation in binding carbon. According to recent UN studies, seagrass beds and salt marshes can be up to ninety times more efficient at storing carbon than the equivalent area of forest.

“Eelgrass beds and salt marshes effectively bury carbon for thousands of years,” said Sierra Club BC’s science advisor, Colin Campbell, PhD. “This is probably the most efficient carbon removal mechanism on Earth – and we should make good use of it while we still have a chance to avoid the worst climate scenarios.”

The report highlights the urgency of protecting seagrass meadows and salt marshes, which are disappearing at rates 2 to 15 times higher than the world’s forests. In BC, these habitats sequester a minimum of 180,000 tonnes of carbon per year – sufficient to balance the emissions of 200,000 passenger cars. According to the report and accompanying maps, the top-ranking estuaries are located on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland.

The report recommends urgent government action to conserve, enhance and expand these estuarine habitats. The first priority should be protecting these habitats under the Federal Fisheries Act because of their importance to fisheries; the recognition of their carbon storage capacity should be an added weight in favour of protection at the federal level.

Secondly, eelgrass and salt marsh need protection from removal and damage from boating, forestry or any form of development, while the upstream sources of fertilizer, pesticides and excessive sediment all need control. Where situations allow, engineering might enable expansion of shallow water sediments suitable for eelgrass.

“Compared to reckless geo-engineering schemes, preserving and expanding natural blue carbon systems is a far more benign form of intervention – and we already know it works.” said Campbell. “Combined with steep emissions reductions, blue carbon burial-at-sea will help us gain the edge we need to avoid crossing critical temperature and ocean acidity thresholds.”.


PARKS CANADA CELEBRATES 125 YEARS OF NATIONAL PARKS 2010-08-22

Community Open House on Saturday, August 28th at the Mayne Island Agricultural Hall from 11am - 2pm.

To celebrate 125 years of national parks in Canada, Parks Canada will host a community open house. There will be a small ceremony at 11:30am to unveil recognition plaques highlighting those who donated lands to help establish the national park reserve; and to highlight the findings of the first "state of the park" Report (SOPR).

The SOPR is a critical lead-in piece for the development of the park's first management plan. It outlines the state of ecological integrity, cultural heritage, visitor experience, stakeholder relations and public outreach education as well as highlighting First Nations perspectives. It also identifies key strategic issues that should be addressed in the upcoming management plan.

Wayne Bourque--the Park Superintendent and other members of the park's management team will be there to chat with people about the park, recent changes, upcoming planning work and how you'd like to be involved and/or kept in the loop.

HABITAT ACQUISITION TRUST'S CONSERVATION CONNECTION 2010-08-05

Conservation Connection Forum: Friday September 17th, 2010

Registration is on the Royal Roads Continuing Studies Website (links below). Please make sure you choose the registration category that applies to you. Any individual who works or volunteers for a not-for-profit organization is welcome to register under the Not for Profit Organizations category.

Individuals and other organizations, please register under the Individuals and other organizations category.

Forum presenters, please register under the Forum presenters category if you will be attending the rest of the forum and lunch. If you will only be attending the session you are presenting at, no need to register.

  • Not-for-profit organizations - $30 – includes lunch and coffee break refreshments - register by clicking here.

  • Individuals and other organizations - $40 - includes lunch and coffee break refreshments - register by clicking here.

  • Forum presenters - please register here if you will be staying for the day and for lunch.

Connect with conservation leaders in our community, including Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada; Ken Cossey, Tsawout Lands Manager; local MPs and MLAs, many other presenters, and representatives from local conservation organizations and governments.

The 10th annual Conservation Connection forum brings together organizations working on environmental issues in our region to build partnerships and capacity. This full day forum is organized by Habitat Acquisition Trust and sponsored by Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University and Vancity. There will be mix of topical, facilitated discussions, and capacity-building workshops. This year will include sessions on fundraising and planned giving, land use planning on First Nations land, linking academic research with conservation initiatives, an Open Space session (facilitated networking and discussion), and “big picture” politics and local conservation with regional MPs and MLAs. Click here to visit our website for more information and a draft schedule for the day (www.hat.bc.ca).

There will also be an area available for your organization to set up a table top display. If you need a table, please email laurie@hat.bc.ca and let us know. The number of tables is limited, so please let us know as soon as you can.

We look forward to seeing you there!


IMPORTANT WETLAND PROTECTED ON BOWEN ISLAND 2010-07-26

Fairy Fen on Bowen Island is now protected as the Islands Trust Fund newest nature reserve!

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Islands Trust Fund announced its landmark achievement of creating its 20th nature reserve, Fairy Fen Nature Reserve on Bowen Island. The Province of British Columbia recently transferred the 18-hectare parcel to the Islands Trust Fund through the provincial Free Crown Grant program. The new nature reserve protects a rare wetland ecosystem and undisturbed forested area.

“This new acquisition for the Islands Trust Fund is very exciting for our island” said Nerys Poole, Islands Trust Fund Board member and Bowen Island Councillor and Municipal Trustee. “Our community places a high value on protection of natural areas. We are very grateful to those members of the community who worked so hard to ensure this rare treasure is protected forever. “

Fairy Fen’ s protection is a success for not just Bowen Island, but for the conservation of British Columbia’s rare ecosystems as a whole. Fairy Fen is described by biologists as one of the most undisturbed, biologically diverse and ecologically rare fens in southern British Columbia. A fen is a wetland fed by ground or surface water and is neutral or alkaline in its chemistry, supporting a high diversity of plant and animal species.....

Read More at http://www.islandstrustfund.bc.ca/news/pdf/itfnewsjul262010.pdf


THE PURPLE MARTIN STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM NEEDS YOUR HELP! 2010-06-09

The Mayne Island Conservancy Society (MICS) invites your financial participation in saving the Purple Martin Stewardship Program.

The Western Purple Martin, our largest swallow, a short ten years ago, was almost gone from our region. Its very distinct call had not been heard on Mayne Island for even longer. Today, due to the efforts of the Georgia Basin Ecological and Restoration Society, Purple Martins are back! The Society is a group of volunteers who are dedicated to Purple Martin recovery. We now have two active nesting sites on Mayne Island at Miners Bay and Bennett Bay thanks to the program. This year, the BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program (coordinated by the Georgia Basin Ecological Assessment and Restoration Society) finds itself in financial shortfall for the 2010 summer season and has asked for our assistance.

A Canada Summer Jobs grant ($10,000) that was expected to fund two summer students (@ $5,000 each) was not forthcoming. This is a serious loss. The summer students undertake a significant portion of the band reading (for returning birds) during nesting season and assist in the banding of as many nestlings as possible in 30 Purple Martin colonies between Powell River, Comox and Sooke and on several of the Gulf Islands (including Mayne, Pender & Gabriola). In addition, this year the students were scheduled to help put on 10 more geolocators to continue the Program's migration study that should provide information about the western martins' migration routes and winter roosting habits in South America. The summer students also enter and verify all the data collected this season. Thus, the loss of this funding deals a serious blow to the Program's potential accomplishments not only for this year, but also for the long term monitoring information.

The volunteer stewards of the various colonies on our islands, southeastern Vancouver Island and the southern mainland have already responded with individual donations to help fill this deficit. The Pender Conservancy has responded with a generous donation from Pender Islanders. So far, enough has been raised to fund one summer student, and the Program would sincerely like to be able to fund a second. MICS will make a donation and invites you, our members, to please consider making a donation in support of this program. You can make your cheque payable to the Mayne Island Conservancy with a subject line "purple martin stewardship program". You will receive a tax receipt for your donation (greater than $20). MICS will forward all contributions to the Western Purple Martin Foundation in Nanaimo, BC. Please mail donations to MICS, Box 31, Mayne Island, BC V0N 2J0 or see us at the Farmers Market.

If you wish to find out more here is a link to the Western Purple Martin Foundation's website describing the Recovery Program

Thank you!
Michael Dunn, President
Mayne Island Conservancy Society


CONSERVATION PLANNING WORKSHOPS 2010-06-02

Islands Trust Fund Schedules Planning Workshops

The Islands Trust Fund would like to collaborate with conservation groups, land trusts and local/regional governments in the Islands Trust Area to develop the Regional Conservation Plan for the Gulf Islands and Howe Sound Islands. The overarching goal is to create a plan that brings together the goals and priorities of as many conservation organizations as possible in order to unite our individual conservation efforts, creating a highly effective partnership for land conservation.

To date, the Islands Trust Fund has focused on data collection for the Plan (ecosystem mapping). Based on data we've collected and work that we participated in with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we’ve created a set of draft goals and priorities for our region. We’d like to invite you to participate in a one-day workshop where together we can:

  1. refine goals and priorities,
  2. identify common threats, and
  3. explore opportunities for conservation in the region.

We are planning two workshops as follows:

  • Monday June 21, 2010
    9:30 to 3:30 - Mary Winspear Centre, Sidney
  • Thursday June 24, 2010
    10:30 to 4:30 -Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo

For more contact Kate Emmings, Ecosystem Protection Specialist, at itfmail@islandstrust.bc.ca

BIRDATHON RESULTS 2010-05-16

Michael Dunn writes:
HI there; I did my birdathon on May 8 and tallied 73 species this year. This was primarily because quite a few of the overwintering species especially marine birds, were still around. Many of you have indicated a willingness to pledge me again this year (some of you have used the online donation option, thank you). So, if you wish to provide me with a cheque, please make it out to Bird Studies Canada. If you wish to use the on line option please go to Bird Studies Canada and click on 'support a participant'. My number is 36390.
Your donation is tax receiptable and a portion is remitted by Bird Studies Canada to the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. Your help will be appreciated!

ISLANDS TRUST FUND-RAISER 2010-04-15

Music for a cause: Upcoming music tour in islands to benefit Islands Trust Fund and island conservation

Join us in welcoming Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe, two music groups who throughout May and June will be serenading the islands while raising money for a great cause – land conservation in the Gulf Islands.

During their tour, Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe will donate a portion of their CD sales to the Islands Trust Fund. The funds raised will help the Islands Trust Fund and local island conservancies protect fragile ecosystems in the Gulf Islands. We hope you can come out to one of their fundraising concerts to do a little finger tapping and foot stomping. Afterwards, bring your favourite tunes home to support land conservation.

It's hard to pin down both Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe into a recognizable genre. Described as Canadiana Roots – stomping Bluegrass – West Coast G-Funk, their music is guaranteed to shake your body and stir your soul. Their lyrics weave through the history and geography of British Columbia and other classic Canadian places.

SWAN LAKE EVENTS FOR APRIL 2010-04-14

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary presents the 15th annual Spring Native Plant Sale

Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18, 2010 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Featuring more than 6,000 plants, with over 120 species, native to southern Vancouver Island
  • Displays on native plant gardening, attracting and supporting wildlife, and much more
  • Master Gardeners on hand to answer those tough gardening questions
  • Refreshments - be sure to try some Saskatoon Berry Pie

Admission - $2 - Friends Members Free - And . . . . Members receive 10% discount on all plant purchases!

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a registered charitable organization. Proceeds from this sale support the educational programs and ecosystem restoration activities at the Nature Sanctuary.


Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
3873 Swan Lake Road,
Victoria, B.C.

Complete plant list is available at our website

Ph. (250) 479-0211

Astronomy Day Saturday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A day to celebrate all things astronomical. Solar observing, model solar system, exhibits on telescopes, mirror making, astrophotography, and out-of-this-world crafts for astro-kids of all ages. Admission by donation.

Wildflower Weekend Sunday, April 25, 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Spring has sprung and Swan Lake and Christmas Hill have never looked better. We celebrate the wonderful world of wildflowers with guided tours of our native plant garden, hikes to Christmas Hill, crafts for the kids and a fun musical wildflower revue.

Other family programs here

BIRDATHON - MAY 8TH 2010-04-13

Michael Dunn on the 2010 Birdathon

Michael announces that he is going to spend the better part of a day attempting to count as many species of birds as possible on Mayne Island and surrounding waters. Last year he tallied 71 species and hopes to better that this year. He will be going out on May 8, 2010.

Michael is, as in past years, seeking pledges for the 2010 Birdathon. Last year, with your generous support he raised just over $2000 for bird conservation initiatives across Canada. A quarter of this amount went back to the Mayne Island Conservancy to be used toward the Active Pass IBA stewardship program.

You have the option this year of pledging by species or by flat rate. He also now has been given a access code for those who would like to donate or pledge on-line. Online pledges can be made using Michael Dunn's ID number (36390) at the 'sponsor a participant' page found at http://www.bsc-eoc.org/support/birdathon

If you are interested and wish to pledge, please let Michael know at 5745 or via email

CRD OFFERS SOUTHERN GULF ISLANDS VIDEOS ON LINE 2010-04-08

Next to Nature: A Video Welcome to the Southern Gulf Islands

Based on the results of the Gulf Islands Community Tourism Study conducted in 2008, a video series to showcase "gentle footprint" tourism on the Southern Gulf Islands was produced. 18 videos, covering seven themes in varying lengths, feature vast and unique recreational opportunities while also fostering a visitor ethic that contributes to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable tourism in the region.

These videos, produced by the Gulf Islands Film and Television School for the Capital Regional District in cooperation with the Tseycum First Nation's Tseycum Canoe Tour Company, are available for viewing or downloading on the CRD's Southern Gulf Islands pages.

CRD TRIALS CHIPPING DAY ON PENDERS 2010-03-20

Pender Island Woody Debris and Yard Brush Drop-off Event Pilot Project

This Earth Week, residents of Pender Island will get to chip in to help the environment by participating in a woody debris and yard brush waste drop-off event taking place on April 24th and 25th 2010. The idea, initiated by Southern Gulf Islands Director, Ken Hancock, is to give residents the opportunity to drop off material for chipping as an alternative to burning. This event is being hosted by Mainroad South Island Contracting at their Pender Island maintenance yard, located at 3323 Port Washington Road. The event will be open both days from 8am - 4pm.

Two types of materials will be able to be dropped off: woody debris like branches and shrubs up to three inches in diameter and invasive plants like blackberry vines and morning glory. These materials must be kept separate from the woody material.

The purpose of the pilot project is to investigate alternatives to open burning and to reduce the health and environmental risks associated with this activity. It will also prevent potential fire hazards associated with outdoor burning.

The cost for dropping off materials is based on the following fee structure:

Load sizeCost
Car/Van$5
Car/Van & Trailer$10
Pick-up Truck (max 1 tonne)$15
Pick-up Truck (max 1 tonne) & Trailer$20

Depending on quantities of woody debris dropped off by residents, the material will be chipped during the week and the chips will be available to ticket holders the following weekend. Chipped material left over will be available to non-participants, on a first come, first served basis, the weekend following. The invasive plants will be collected separately and shipped to Fisher Road Recycling and Composting facility in Cobble Hill, BC. A reminder to all residents to secure your loads for safer roads.

A report on the pilot project will be prepared and include information about logistics, costs, types and amounts of materials dropped off, and participant feedback. This information will be used to assess the viability of future events of this nature on the Southern Gulf Islands.

The event is coordinated by the Capital Regional District’s Environmental Resource Management division. For more information about the event, contact the CRD hotline at 1.800.663.4425 local 3030, via email at hotline@crd.bc.ca or visit the website for more information www.crd.bc.ca