Breaking News: Bob McDonald is coming to Conservation Connection 2011

Our Conservation Connection Forum has always been an event that brings out the very best of the conservation community and this year is no different. Entering its 11th year, we are pleased to announce that Vancity is sponsoring CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks host Bob McDonald keyntote!  Bob has just been named to the Order of Canada and we are all huge fans of his radio program and his blog, which he updates regularly. If you are not familiar with Quirks and Quarks, we have provided some links below and encourage you to jump into the podcast archives. Everyone is dancing with joy in the office right now and we cannot wait to hear Bob speak on September 30th at Royal Roads University.

Bob McDonald

Bob Mcdonald Links!

Podcasts anyone? CLICK HERE!
Bob's Blog!

Bio: Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television’s The National as well as Gemini winning host and writer of the children’s series Head’s Up. McDonald has also hosted Greatest Canadian Invention and the seven-part series Water Under Fire.

As a print journalist, McDonald has authored three science books and contributed to numerous science textbooks, newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail, Owl Magazine and many others. His latest book is Measuring the Earth With a Stick, and he has written the introductions to The Quirks & Quarks Question Book, The Guide to Space: 42 Questions (and Answers) About Life, the Universe, and Everything as well as Nasty, Brutish and Short, the Quirks Guide to Animal Sex.

Beyond his work in media, McDonald is Chairman of Geospace, an exciting new environmental centre and planetarium for the Toronto Waterfront.

McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada as the recipient of the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Sir Sanford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute and the McNeil Medal from The Royal Society of Canada. McDonald was also the recipient of a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Host in a Pre-School, Children's or Youth Program or Series.

He has received six honourary Doctorates, from the University of Guelph, Carleton University, Laurentian, McMaster, University of Winnipeg and University of Calgary.  In 2011, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Bob McDonald's talk will be presented by VanCity and we cannot thank our sponsors enough for all they have done to ensure that this year's Conservation Connection will be a memorable one. The Victoria Foundation continues to step up and help us to create this event as well as Royal Roads University who provides the amazing venue and food.

Conservation Connection 2011

Regsiter for the Conservation Connection Forum at the Royal Roads University Department of Continuing Studies:

The Conservation Connection Forum is funded by the:


Bob McDonald's Keynote is sponsored by:


Conference facilities have been provided free of charge by:

        rru logo


Video Nostalgia






With the help of Shaw TV  and their program The Daily, we were able to dig deep into our video archives and pull out some gems that were filmed over five years ago! It is amazing to watch these clips and see how far HAT has come in terms of conservation of these spaces as well as our other initiatives. We have also launched our own YouTube page here - which we will be updating regularly as we get out and film some of our covenants and upcoming events. Enjoy!





With the latest installment of Conservation Connection just around the corner (September 30th), why not take a look back at what the event looked liked in 2007!


One of our earlist covenants - Matson Land, is still being restored and cared for by our amazing volunteers and staff. Here is a short clip of Todd exploring the land way back in 2005.



Our 15th Anniversary is just around the corner but lets take a look back at where our organization was at on our 10th Anniversary.


Celebrate Community Conservation

We are having a community celebration to show our support for all of the amazing community members that help us restore and protect natural habitats. Everyone from our habitat stewards to our board of directors deserve recognition for all the work they do! Check out the details on the event poster below:




Hot Fun in the Summertime!

"End of the spring and here she comes back...them summer days, those summer days" - Sly & The Family Stone


Here at HAT we cannot be more excited for SUMMER! Family fun has never been so accessible and educational!

This summer HAT is partening with local groups  and CRD parks to host events for the entire family. Kids can beachcomb and discover the amazingly diverse ecosystems of Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, budding naturalists can enjoy birding with trained naturalists and the hands-on type can enhance ecosystems at our ecosystem enhancement events.

Tuesday, July 5 | 10am—2pm Marine Day (Drop-in Event)—All ages. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park (Metchosin) Join CRD Regional Parks’ naturalists for this celebration of our precious marine environment. Scuba divers will bring up creatures from the deep, see live displays, view resident harbour seals, make sand creature creations and more! Drop by anytime between 10am and 2pm. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Bring a picnic lunch and plan to stay awhile. Park in the main parking lot off Metchosin Road and follow the 20-minute forest trail to the beach to the CRD Regional Parks’ tents. BC Transit #54 or #55

Sunday, July 17 | 10am—1pm A Taste of Wonderful Witty’s (Drop-in Event)–All ages, Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park (Metchosin) Witty’s Lagoon is a beautiful and diverse ocean park – from brilliant birdwatching to fantastic beachcombing, CRD Regional Park’ naturalists and Habitat Acquisition Trust team up at this family drop-in event to help you discover Witty’s amazing diversity. High—powered spotting scopes, binoculars, dip nets, and crafts await your exploration.  Meet at the grassy area adjacent to the main beach. BC Transit # 54 or #55

Saturday, July 23 | 10-2pm "Firehall Creek" enhancement site Luxton Fairgrounds (RSVP to Volunteer!)- 1040 Marwood Ave. just off of Sooke Road. Firehall Creek enhancement site is located at the historic Luxton Fairgrounds. HAT staff and the Bilston Watershed Habitat Protection Association are hosting a day of habitat enhancement, ecological games and kid’s activities.  Join in the fun by volunteering to enhance ecosystems, by enjoying our activities or by stopping by for a quick chat with our staff biologist.  BC Transit # 50, #54, or #61

Saturday,  August 27 | 10am-2pm Havenwood Park Restoration (RSVP to Volunteer!) Havenwood Park is a 16.5 hectare (40 acre) parcel of land located in Colwood, British Columbia.  You can join HAT staff and members of Friends of Havenwood Park to remove invasive and noxious invasive species and enhancec the beauty of the park. The park has complex topography, comprised of moderately to steeply sloped hillsides with an elevation range of 100m to 165m above sea level. It contains bedrock outcrop Garry Oak ecosystems, wetland/riparian habitat, permanent/ephemeral watercourses and a mixed cover of second growth coniferous and deciduous trees. This will definitely be a day to remember.

Saturday, September 17 | 10am–12pm Super Dog Day (Guided Walk)–All ages. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park (Metchosin) Bring the family to see a free show by Wonder Dogs Agility Training Group. Join Habitat Acquisition Trust and CRD Regional Parks to enjoy a walk on the trail with your pooch to celebrate another year of successful bird nesting and migration in this bird habitat hotspot. Dog show: 11:30. Meet at the Witty’s Lagoon nature centre off Metchosin RoadBC Transit # 54 or # 55

CRD Parks


HAT helping Tsartlip Save Sacred Senanus Island

Ray Sam visited SENINES (Senanus) Island for the last time in 2009 to support the restoration efforts of Tsartlip youth maintaining the threatened Garry oak meadows of this sacred place in the Saanich Inlet.


Sam passed away in 2010, leaving a very small group of SENCOTEN language speakers to maintain their cultural heritage. Tsartlip Elder Anne Sam and language apprentice MENEŦIYE (Munuthia Elliott) welcomed HAT to the Island along with members of Peninsula Streams and the KENNES (Hagan Creek) Watershed Project. For several years we have been clearing invasive transformer plants like broom and daphne, while seeding in native food plants like camas and chocolate lily.

Maintaining the language and the land go hand in hand. SENCOTEN is also now taught for one hour a day to students at Lauwelnew Tribal School in an effort to revive the language. Munuthia is one of six Sencoten language apprentices hoping to become fluent while the eight remaining fluent speakers, most of whom are in their 80's, are still alive.

"The language is like a poem and a song. Everything has a deeper meaning than just the words," Munuthia said.

An example are the words for different types of clams which reflect the traditional story that humans who ran away from the Creator were turned into clams and forced to hide in holes.

The word for butter clam translates into “why-are-you-there”, Munuthia said.

Munuthia volunteers at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, where amazing displays of ocean life feature native names alongside English ones.

To learn more about HAT volunteer opportunities and projects, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250 995-2428.

-Todd Carnahan


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