Kids give Carr's lily field a makeover

Students at South Park Elementary have been doing more than planting trees in a corner of their Douglas Street schoolyard -they've been digging into the history of their James Bay community.

Makayla Kew, 9, right, holds up a worm to show her fellow South Park Elementary student Aurora Ralph, 7, while Aurora's sister Asha, 4, examines the soil.

Photograph by: Debra Brash, Times Colonist. Article by Jeff Bell

Students at South Park Elementary have been doing more than planting trees in a corner of their Douglas Street schoolyard -they've been digging into the history of their James Bay community.

With the help of workers from the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria school district, and guidance from the Habitat Acquisition Trust, the students are creating a nativespecies garden in an area known to have been favoured by one of James Bay's most famous residents -Emily Carr.

One of the inspirations for the South Park students, staff and parents is a Carr essay she wrote in The Book of Small (first published in 1942), which describes the environs of the site they are improving at Douglas and Niagara streets, just across the roadway from Beacon Hill Park.

"Nothing, not even fairyland, could have been so lovely as our lily field," Carr wrote. "The field was roofed by tall, thin pine trees. The lilies were sprinkled everywhere."

The school project is part of the Habitat Acquisition Trust's Green Spots Program, which aims to help children from kindergarten to Grade 7 get closer to nature.

South Park vice-principal Anne Nilsen said the effort is the first part of a plan to reclaim an overgrown area full of invasive species and often fouled with garbage by passersby.

It will be returned to its natural state as a Garry oak meadow. "Eventually we'll have more trees planted in there and all sorts of things to make it really like a lovely garden," Nilsen said.

The assistance of city gardeners from Beacon Hill Park and school district personnel has made a big difference, Nilsen said.

"We've had co-operation from everybody."

Additional plantings will be done over the next several years.


Thanks to all the Businesses that donated items for the silent auction

Update:  Thank you to Karen Wood for donating 2 fabolous baskets, and a framed, limited edition Sue Coleman giclee.

Also, the Four Seasons Whister has donated a 2 nights stay in a Deluxe King Room, and the Hemp & Company is donating a gift certificate. Four Seasons hotel Whistler

HAT is very lucky to have received donations from many local business for this years silent auction!  We'd like to say THANK YOU to:

Alternatives Magazine

BC Wineguys

Robert Bateman

Coastal Fitness Solutions

Good Planet Company

Kiwi Cove Lodge in Ladysmith

The Market Stores

Moksha Yoga

Mountain Equipment Coop

Ocean River Sports

Pacific Surf School

Pender Cottage Getaway

Philips Brewery

Sapphire Day Spa

The Soap Exchange


Wine Kitz

We hope you will join us on March 10th at the Fireside Grill!


Latest issue of HAT Chat is up

The latest issue of HAT Chat is online.  Find out about the campaign to Save Mary Lake, our next Good Neighbours project, and Rainwolves in this latest issue. 




At our Gala Dinner next month, HAT is pleased to have Dr. Chris Darimont speaking.  Chris is a Conservation Biologist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California (Santa Cruz).  Much of Chris’ research has focused on ecological and niche variation, particularly among predators – such as the unique behavioural adaptations of the wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest.  While the ecosystems of the Central Coast and those of southern Vancouver Island are quite different, the unique relationship between wolves, bears, salmon and people have played an important role in both.


Chris' research has helped us understand how wolves and salmon interact with other wildlife, and even plants, to help shape BC’s coastal forests into some of the richest, most productive forests on the planet.  Dr Darimont’s work, combined with his passion and spectacular photography, has led him to be featured in the National Geographic documentary Last Stand of the Great Bear, and to co-author of the award-winning book The Last Wild Wolves; Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest. His research has been recognized as well – in 2009 Discover magazine cited a paper Chris was the lead author of as number 30 on their list of the top 100 science stories.  Our understanding of the role of apex predators, particularly wolves and bears, in coastal forests as expanded greatly in the past decade as Chris and other conservation biologists use technology, and a great deal of patience, to reveal the hidden lives of these charismatic creatures.

Twyla Roscovich posted this short documentary entitled Last of Wild Wolves, featuring Chris and his colleagues at the Raincoast Conservation Society.


Tickets to 2011 Gala Dinner available now

Join us for this Green Tie event at the Fireside Grill on Thursday, March 10, 2011. Doors are at 6:00 pm, Introductions at 6:30 pm and Dinner is at 7:00 pm. The Fireside Grill is located at 4509 West Saanich Road.



HAT is pleased to announce its Gala Dinner on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at the Fireside Grill. This Green Tie Dinner is HAT’s premier fundraising event of the year, and we are pleased to be joined by distinguished guests, our host /A\ TV's Erick Thompson, keynote speaker Dr. Chris Darimont and noted jazz guitarist Rob Cheramy.

Other highlights include a silent auction featuring unique items donated by local businesses and the  presentation of HAT’s Conservation Legacy Award.

Our keynote speaker, Chris Darimont, from GreyStone Books:

Chris Darimont spent his formative years exploring the forests and tide pools of Canada’s west coast islands. Never far behind him was Kala, his family’s loyal canine companion. This legacy prepared Chris well to initiate and lead the research team that uncovered the fascinating natural history and science featured in The Last Wild Wolves (Ian McAllister, Paul C. Paquet, Chris Darimont). Chris worked closely with Ian to seamlessly integrate his team’s findings into the book’s first-person narrative.

The wolf project research earned Chris a PhD. from the University of Victoria, and an opportunity to cultivate a decade-long relationship with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, which supported the research since its inception in 1998.

Chris is considered an emerging expert not only in Conservation Biology but also in informed advocacy, in which the Raincoast team advocates for wolves and their precious rainforest in multiple public media. Several television documentaries have focused on Chris’ work with Raincoast including Discovery Canada’s Rainwolves, Canadian Geographic’s Secrets of the Coast Wolf, and National Geographic’s Last Stand of the Great Bear. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, Chris has written popular pieces for Wild Earth, International Wolf, Howlings, Counterpunch, Arts and Opinion and many more.

Chris has been recognized for his scholarly, conservation, and volunteering contributions with numerous awards, including a Compassion in Science Award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a Legacy Award from the University of Victoria, and a National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) graduate fellowship.

Chris continues to lead the Raincoast wolf project with Dr. Paul Paquet, and is currently an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California (Santa Cruz). He splits his time between sunny California and the moist islands of the Great Bear Rainforest.  Learn more about the Raincoast wolf project at Raincoast Conservation Foundation.


Contact the HAT office for tickets or for more information- 250 995-2428, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




For a Sneak preview of some of the items up for auction please check out our Facebook Prize Abum in addition to the list below:

2 Nights Accommodation - Deluxe King Room ($1,300 Value) - Four Seasons Hotel Whistler

One Year Subscription - Alternatives Journal

Wine Basket - BC Wine Guys

One Month Pass - Barefoot at ♥ Yoga

Robert Bateman Print - Robert Bateman & Island Blue

Beautiful Blue, Asian Tea Basket - Karen Wood

Piece of Pottery - 'Chosin Pottery

Sandpiper by Sue Colman, giclee print - Karen Wood

2 FREE 1-on-1 Personal Training Sessions - Coastal Fitness Solutions

Organic Wool All Season Duvet - The Good Planet Company

inside, signed print by artist, Lyle Schultz - Paul McNair

One Night Accommodation - Kiwi Cove Lodge

Beer Lover's Gift Basket - Lighthouse Brewing Co

Longevity & Auspiciousness, Crane Gift Basket - Karen Wood

$50 Gift Certificate - The Market on Yates

One Month Unlimited Classes - Moksha Yoga

Hiking Backpack & Accessories - Mountain Equipment Co-op

Kayak Rental - Ocean River Sports

Surfing Lessons for 2 - Pacific Surf School

Gift Certificate - WetCleaner

Weekend Accommodation at Pender Cottage

Beer Lover's Gift Basket - Phillips Brewing Company

Selection of Seeds - Saltspring Seeds

Hand Crafted Celtic Rope Mat - Marvin Eng

Bank of Montreal Swag - Bank of Montreal

Spa Gift Certificate - Sapphire Day Spa

Gift Certificate - Share Organics

Gift Certificate - The Soap Exchange

$250 Gift Card - Wine Kitz


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