Camas Hill

The act of freeing delicate mosses and wildflowers from beneath the overbearing invasive species that shade and crowd out all surrounding life, is a wonderful act of repentance for the harm that settlers and their relatives committed and continue to commit on this landscape. The impact of colonization on Vancouver Island is one that can be seen on the physical landscape around us. Invasive species create vast swaths of land where biodiversity is reduced to almost nothing. In late Janurary HAT hosted a memorial pull on Camas Hil for Moralea Milne, a butterfly specialist, restoration guru and an advocate for reconciliation and partnerships with indigenous communities during her career as councillor. The event was attended by a small group of volunteers who knew Moralea and a few HAT staff.

 

Photo credit Paige Erickson-McGee

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Join the HAT Team this Summer 2020

We expect to have one position available: Conservation Technician.

We're looking for a hard-working, enthusiastic person to support our programs in conservation. See details below and apply by Tuesday April 14th at 5:00pm

This position is contingent on federal funding from Canada Summer Jobs. Anticipated confirmation by early May 2020.

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Job Posting: Conservation Technician

Duration: 16 weeks, starting early May 2020

Wage: $15.00 per hour, 35 hours per week (full time)

Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is a Victoria-based land trust working with our community to protect habitat within the Capital Regional District (CRD). Our mission is to conserve natural spaces on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands through land acquisition, legal protection of private land, restoration, education, and stewardship programs. We work closely with community groups, government, individual landowners, indigenous communities, and conservation organizations to coordinate effective habitat protection projects.

HAT is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated individual to assist our programs this summer. 

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Read more: Join the HAT Team this Summer 2020

Hedgerows for Habitat Movement Takes Flight

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"

 I really appreciate HAT’s encouragement and support in developing the pollinator fedge here at Metchosin Farm. Seeds are the foundation of our food chain, and the 250+ seed crop varieties that we grow require a lot of pollination! We grow quite a few native plant species, and having our native pollinators is a wonderful way to support both of these. As a farmer I’m often running full-tilt trying to keep up with the weather, planting, administration and a myriad of tasks. Having Paige and Ronna from HAT helping to source and plant native species in the fedge made it possible to get more done there this year than I otherwise would have been able to. Thank you, HAT!

-Fiona Hamersley Chambers, Owner of Metchosin Farm

 The Team - Metchosin Farm

Metchosin Farm - Organic Seeds - Open-pollinated

 

Check out HAT's brand new video about Hedgerows and how to plant your native plants!

Video not working? Watch HERE

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The Bats are returning from hibernation! Are you ready?

Maybe some of you see bats flying around in the summer evenings. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a few living in the crooks and crannies of your home. For those of you who co-exist with these incredible creatures, we applaud you for being fantastic bat stewards! These days, bats are struggling to find places to roost in the summer, so every chance we give makes a difference to them and to our ecosystems.

For those of you that are living with bats but maybe aren’t so excited about them, we have good news! Unlike rats or mice, bats do not cause significant damage to your home by chewing or creating nests. The bad news is that you will likely still have guano (bat poop), and depending on the size of your colony it can be a bit of a pain to clean up, although it makes a great fertilizer. See this document about safely living with bats: https://bcbats.ca/index.php/got-bats/living-with-a-bats

If you have bats living in your home and understand the vital role they play in our ecosystem, but they are very noisy or causing problems, we have an alternative: a safe exclusion and bat boxes! Exclusions are a guided process and step-by-step instructions can be found here.

The bat boxes are artificial roost structures specifically designed to mimic the conditions found between the cedar shakes or up in the attic. Installing two boxes, one in the shade and one in the sun, gives the bats more options if there is an exceptionally hot or cool summer.

Friends of Tod Creek Watershed Anne and Ian (HAT Habitat Stewards)in bat house building workshop early this month (link here).  Thank you so much Anne and Ian for showing us that all of us are able to make a difference in our communities and the creatures that live in them.

You can purchase a Bat Box from HAT for $128.40 - these boxes are specifically designed for our local bat species, we have two styles available at our office. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange pick up or delivery.

Want to build your own bat box? Here are some plans for the two different styles that work best.

Rocket Box

4 Chambered Maternity Box

If you have any questions about whether you live in a suitable place for a bat box installation or about what bat box style would work best for you, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Above: Pictures from the Tod Creek Watershed Bat Box Workshop

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Volunteer Spotlight: Lee Colwill

The HAT community is filled with outgoing, fun, upbeat people who make volunteering for a small non-profit a part of their weekly routines. This month - a month that itself is vibrant, colourful, and bringing with it a refreshing post-winter energy - we wanted to spotlight one of our most upbeat volunteers: Lee Colwill.
 
An Australian expat, Lee has been volunteering with HAT since 2012 when she started volunteering at Havenwood park. This volunteering coalesced into the Friends of Havenwood Park in 2014. This weekly stewardship group is a self-directed community group that spends some hours every week in the park, "ripping and stripping" and otherwise making sure invasive species of plants don't continue to encroach on habitat for native and other local species. As someone who loves a good joke, Lee and the rest of the Friends of Havenwood always share a laugh while they work, enjoying their time outdoors and on the land.
 
Last year, Lee added volunteering in the office to her schedule where she helps to organize community events like March's Music Bingo at the Fernwood Inn. Since her work as an event organizer, Lee has really brought some excitement to the HAT office, and a dedication to planning events that really comes through. After connecting with all the venue, the DJ, and assembling all of the prizes from all of our great sponsors (thanks again to the Fernwood Inn, Il Terazzo, Il Covo, Phillips, Fernwood Coffee, Smoke & Mirrors Coffee, Wildfire Bakery, & the Bateman Centre), and pulling off one of the most well attended music bingos the DJ (Sean) had ever seen, Lee is currently working on a number of other community events that are sure to get you excited, so stay tuned for more events!
 
Thanks Lee for being such a fun, exuberant member of the team :)

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