Weedy Wednesday chance to help Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is inviting volunteers to pitch in at this weekly conservation event at the preserve on Maple Bay Road.

  • May. 29, 2016 6:00 p.m.

If you like to get your hands dirty, are enthusiastic about nature and want to spend a beautiful morning in the sun, consider joining the friendly group of volunteers on Wednesday, June 1, for Weedy Wednesday at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is inviting volunteers to pitch in at this weekly conservation volunteer event at the preserve on Maple Bay Road.

Volunteering gives community members the chance for hands-on experience at one of the world’s last havens for the globally-endangered deep soil Garry oak ecosystems, said Lesley Marian Neilson of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in a press release.

“After moving to the Cowichan Valley, volunteering was a great way to meet a wide variety of people with varied backgrounds and interests,” said Larry White, a long-time volunteer at the preserve. “After a couple of years, I can see the impact of my personal efforts on the preserve, so I know that I am making a difference.”

Larry is one of a dedicated group of volunteers who have been helping out at the preserve by pulling invasive plants, tending seedlings in the native plant nursery and restoring the wetlands on the lakeshore.

The Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve is a former farm site on the shore of Quamichan Lake that was protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada 17 years ago. The upper meadow and woodland have been extensively restored, with thriving populations of Garry oaks, black hawthorns and many wildflowers, including camas, shooting stars and spring gold. The preserve also hosts nestboxes for western bluebirds, which have been reintroduced after becoming locally extinct from Vancouver Island in the mid-1990s.

Volunteers will learn about the stewardship and restoration efforts taken by the Nature Conservancy of Canada on the property, and will contribute to the protection of this ecologically important piece of land, which is normally closed to the public.

Weedy Wednesday runs from 9 a.m. to noon.

To register or find out more visit natureconservancy.ca/bcevents, email bc@conservationvolunteers.ca or call 1-888-404-8428.