Letter of resignation from Jill Robinson, Executive Director

Note from the Board of Directors: 

Jill_Robinson.jpg

Dear HAT members and supporters,

The Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) Board of Directors would like to inform you that Jill Robinson will be leaving her position as Executive Director of HAT in July 2018. We thank Jill for her enormous contributions to HAT during the last three and a half years.

Jill has demonstrated her passion for conservation, strong leadership, and an exceptional talent for building collaborative relationships with staff, board members, volunteers and many others from the larger community. Jill’s diligence, positive energy and commitment to organizational excellence leave HAT an even stronger organization than it was when she arrived. Although we are sad to see her go, we wish Jill all the best as she pursues exciting new opportunities.

Moving forward, the Board of Directors will now start the process for hiring a new Executive Director. We look forward to receiving applications for this important role and to finding another talented individual to help shape HAT’s future. With strong support from the board, and with Jill’s assistance, we anticipate a smooth transition into the role for the next Executive Director as HAT continues to advance conservation objectives on south Vancouver Island.

Sincerely,

HAT Board of Directors

Note from Jill:

For the last three and a half years at Habitat Acquisition Trust, I have felt incredibly fortunate to be a part of an organization that I care so deeply for. I am passionate about HAT’s mission to conserve nature on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands and I am proud of what our group has accomplished. While I have loved my time at HAT and know I will miss it dearly, I have decided to resign from my position to pursue my career as a Biologist.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with such a passionate, knowledgeable and hardworking team of staff, board members, volunteers, contractors, and supporters – everyone that has helped support HAT in becoming a leader for conservation. I have truly appreciated your kindness, support and commitment to land protection and have loved being a part of a collaborative, strategic approach to conserving our important natural areas. Together, we’ve all worked hard to build upon HAT’s strong foundation and I feel confident moving forward that HAT will continue to thrive and make a positive impact on local conservation. I wish all the best to HAT in the future and look forward to continuing my involvement with this great organization for years to come.

Sincerely,

Jill Robinson

 Apply today!

To apply for this great opportunity to join the HAT team, click here. Applications due June 5. 

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Join HAT - hiring new Executive Director

Job Opening: Executive Director

Title: Executive Director
Full-time (37.5 hours/week)
Wage: $28.50 – $32.50/hour

Application Deadline: June 5 2018; 4:30pm.

HAT's Executive Director, Jill Robinson will be resigning at the end of July 2018 (Letter of Resignation). We are now seeking a new dynamic and motivated individual to lead Habitat Acquisition Trust’s operations. The Executive Director will implement the Board of Directors’ strategic direction for the organization, and to manage all aspects of HAT’s day-to-day operations. 

The successful candidate will be a strong communicator and have experience writing grant proposals, managing staff, and working with a variety of partners and interest groups. They will demonstrate strong leadership skills, a commitment to continuous learning and a passion for conservation.

Please submit a resume and cover letter that demonstrate how the candidate meets the qualifications and competencies in the job description below. Applications should be addressed to the Board of Directors and sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with subject “Executive Director Application”. Applications longer than 6 pages will not be accepted.

Program Area Overview:

The purpose of HAT Operations is to ensure the cost-effective and time-efficient development and management of plans and programs consistent with HAT’s mandate to preserve and protect natural environments and ecosystems in the Capital Region.

Position Overview:

Accountable to the Board Chair and reporting to the Board of Directors on a consistent basis, the Executive Director manages HAT day to day operations including: developing and establishing work plans and programs; providing leadership and direction to staff; monitoring and evaluation of programs and activities to ensure alignment with strategic goals; managing and reporting on financial activity; acting to ensure compliance with all legal, statutory and policy requirements; and, managing HAT’s assets and reputation.

Position Deliverables/Accountabilities:

  • Ensures the Board of Directors is provided with timely, accurate and comprehensive information to facilitate decision-making in matters of policy, strategic planning and governance, including recommendations on process when appropriate;
  • Assists the Board in the development of strategic plans by providing staffing projections, funding targets, project themes and information on challenges and opportunities;
  • Ensures the effective implementation of Board direction in a manner consistent with the values and ethics of the organization;
  • Attends all Board meetings and assists in the preparation of agendas and reports including those prepared for the AGM;
  • Provides leadership and direction to HAT staff, encouraging collaborative relationships with partners, supporters, contractors and volunteers;
  • Manages personnel processes and procedures to produce the required outcomes including: staff recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits, corrective discipline, performance evaluations and terminations;
  • Ensures that staff are given the information, training, tools and support to fulfill their respective roles safely and effectively;
  • Coordinates the acquisition, management and effective utilization of physical and financial resources for the achievement of strategic goals and plans, including office space and related equipment, administrative and financial management processes and technology, and field-related resources;
  • Ensures the maintaining of accurate and comprehensive files and records to mitigate risk and support planning;
  • Acts as the organization’s Privacy Officer and takes appropriate measures to mitigate risk associated with the protection of personal and/or proprietary information including processes to maintain secure, accurate and comprehensive files and records;
  • Provides leadership for community outreach and education initiatives designed to encourage investment and engagement through funding, donations and other forms of community support;
  • Provides leadership and support on key fundraising activities to facilitate achievement of fundraising targets;
  • Promotes collaborative partnerships with other stewardship agencies, organizations, First Nations and government departments;
  • Develops and maintains effective relationships with the media, business and community leaders.

Position Competencies:

Organizational Insight: Uses subject matter knowledge and expertise to develop plans for the effective securement, allocation and utilization of resources to meet or exceed organizational objectives;

Effective Communication: Expresses ideas, facts and information in a clear, timely and organized manner, and articulates a clear vision;

Relationship/Partnership Development: Adapts and uses an array of skills and techniques to build and sustain positive, supportive relationships;

Leadership: Acts with integrity and takes responsibility for own actions, builds a culture of mutual respect, co-operation and understanding by engaging and motivating staff, coaching and managing performance and fostering long-term learning and development;

Situational Insight: Adapts to and works effectively within a variety of situations and with various individuals or groups, modifying approach as operational goals and plans evolve, maintaining an awareness of the needs of subordinates and continuously seeking ways to improve outcomes.

Qualification Criteria:

  • Strong interest in land conservation and HAT’s mission;
  • Post-secondary accreditation in an applicable field of study, or significant relevant experience, preferably in a non-profit environment;
  • Management or supervisory experience, preferably in the non- profit sector;
  • Demonstrated ability in project planning, development, evaluation and management;
  • Demonstrated skill in fundraising, community outreach and communications;
  • Strong interpersonal, written and verbal skills, ability to interact and consult with individuals at all levels inside the organization and in the broader community;
  • Well-developed computer skills and ability to effectively use basic office technology and software (eg: word processing, presentations, web site maintenance, database management);
  • Willing and able to work irregular hours including some evenings and weekends;
  • Willing and able to undertake professional development and training as appropriate
  • Valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle preferred.

 

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HAT is Hiring - Summer Students 2018

summerstudents

Join the HAT Team this Summer 2018.

We expect to have at least two positions available: Land Protection Intern and Conservation Intern.

We're looking for hard-working, enthusiastic people to support our programs in conservation. 
See details below and apply by Friday May 4 2018

These positions are contigent on  federal funding from Canada Summer Jobs. Anticipated confirmation in May 2018.

Please indicate in your email if you would like to be considered for both positions.


Job Posting: Conservation Intern

Duration: 9 weeks, starting mid May 2018, (with possibility of 3 week extension)

Wage: $14.25 per hour, 37.5 hours per week

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

HAT is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated person to help coordinate and deliver our stewardship projects this summer. The Conservation Intern will work on several of HAT’s projects including the Good Neighbours Project and Species at Risk outreach. The Conservation Intern will work closely with HAT’s Stewardship and Community & Development Coordinator. This internship presents many opportunities for the interns to work outdoors, learn new skills, to be creative with independent projects, and to make lasting connections with the conservation community. In helping to plan outreach events, the intern will reach out to volunteers, landowners, First Nations & organizations working on environmental stewardship and conservation projects in the Capital Regional District. Primary duties include: advertising and promoting events through media; Communicating with conservation groups, government agencies, and general public; Coordinating presentations, landowner visits and recording field data and reporting on landowner prescriptions; supporting youth education and restoration activities.

Preferred Skills:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • keen interest and knowledge of regional conservation issues
  • knowledge of local species and ecosystems (oak woodland, CDF forest, and riparian/littoral zones)
  • understanding of threats, behaviours, and habitats of species-at-risk of interest to HAT
  • event planning and media relations experience an asset
  • can work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends
  • computer competence necessary (email, internet, MS Office, Access)
  • Social media, website management, blogging, photography, as well as design skills are assets
  • sense of humour, team player, enjoys working with youth; creative problem-solver
  • capable of physical labour and hiking outdoors

Requirements:

     Eligible applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age;
  • have been a registered full-time student in the preceding academic year;
  • intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
  • willing to complete a criminal record check (upon hiring) for work with children.

Please include three references. Ensure that your application addresses all skills and criteria listed above.  

Visit our website at www.hat.bc.ca and Facebook page for information on HAT’s projects, history, and successes.

Application deadline: 4pm on Friday May 4, 2018  Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Email your application (resume and cover letter) with subject line: “Conservation Intern” addressed to Jill Robinson, Executive Director at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Job Posting: Land Protection Intern

Duration: 9 weeks, starting mid May 2018, with possibility of 3 week extension.

Wage: $14.25 per hour, 37.5 hours per week

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

HAT is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated person to help coordinate and deliver our land protection activities this summer. The intern will assist the Land Acquisition Coordinator and Habitat Management Coordinator in monitoring and reporting on 1600 hectares of natural areas legally protected by Habitat Acquisition Trust. This work will involve a mix of field work in natural areas, data collection and technical office work including transcribing, mapping and reporting on current conditions in the protected areas and using GIS applications. The Intern will help implement restoration efforts, monitor protected lands, and build partnerships with local landowners and various interest groups. Primary duties include data collection, writing, editing, mapping and record keeping.

Preferred Skills:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • keen interest and knowledge of regional conservation issues
  • species ID skills (common species in oak woodland, CDF forest, and riparian/littoral zones)
  • GPS navigation and GIS mapping skills (or keen interest in learning)
  • understanding of threats, behaviours, and habitats of species-at-risk of interest to HAT
  • able to multi-task, manage time effectively and co-ordinate projects
  • event planning and media relations experience an asset
  • can work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends
  • computer competence necessary (email, internet, MS Office, Access)
  • sense of humour, team player, creative problem-solver
  • capable of physical labour and hiking outdoors

Requirements:

     Eligible applicants must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age;
  • have been a registered full-time student in the preceding academic year;
  • intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the next academic year;
  • willing to complete a criminal record check (upon hiring) for work with children.

Please include three references. Ensure that your application addresses all skills and criteria listed above.  

Visit our website at www.hat.bc.ca and Facebook page for information on HAT’s projects, history, and successes.

Application deadline: 4pm on Friday May 4th, 2018. 

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Email your application (resume & cover letter) with subject line: ‘Land Protection Intern’ addressed to Jill Robinson, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Calling All Habitat Guardians! (2018) campaign has ended:

The results are in! 

Between March 1st and July 31, we received support from 16 incredible people, who combined raised a total of $18,770 for this year's Habitat Guardians campaign to protect habitat in the Highlands. Yes, that is almost double our goal amount of $10,000! These funds will help cover the costs of forming a new covenant on private land in the Highlands to create a permanent natural link between Gowlland Tod and Goldstream Provincial parks. Once the covenant is formed, any remaining funds will support the ongoing stewardship of protected lands on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. The donors are recognized as Habitat Guardians and will be recognized with a personalized certificate acknowledging their contribution to HAT's Land Protection program. This campaign has been a phenomenal success that would not have been possible without the generous support of people like you!

Although this year's Habitat Guardians campaign has come to a close, our work in Land Protection continues year-round and requires ongoing support! From Habitat Assessment and Monitoring, mapping and more, our Land Protection program is still in need of your support! Please consider making a donation to Land Protection today.   

Thank you to all of our Habitat Guardians, you truly are an inspiration to us all.  

habitatguardianty3


Original Article Below

By: Ashlea Veldhoen (March, 2018)

What if you could play an important role in protecting natural areas for our native wildlife? Well, it is possible – with your help. Habitat Acquisition Trust is now seeking to rally support from community members to raise $10,000 for its local Land Protection Program by July 31, 2018. This year’s Habitat Guardians Campaign will ensure the permanent protection of ecologically significant lands adjacent to the Gowlland Tod and Goldstream Provincial Parks, and support the ongoing stewardship of protected lands on south Vancouver Island.

The area in need of protecting features a second-growth Douglas-fir forest, inundated by rocky outcrops – suitable habitat for both the endangered Western Screech-Owl and Sharp-tailed snake. Protecting this property with a conservation covenant would also mean forging a permanent corridor for wildlife travelling between Gowlland Tod and Thetis Lake Parks.

Protecting habitat for future generations is so important in this rapidly developing landscape, and it requires a community of passionate Habitat Guardians to protect it. HAT encourages readers to heed the call of the wild and keep these special places alive with nature forever by starting a conversation about land protection, and being a guardian for wildlife habitat with a donation to HAT. Without the funds for legal protection and stewardship, these sensitive lands may end up clear-cut, subdivided, or paved-over and lost. That’s where the donations of Habitat Guardians makes a huge difference.

8 and a half inches by 11 ad for Rural Observer 2018 land Protection2
 
Become a Habitat Guardian and you will:
  • Receive customizable recognition at events hosted on that property for one year
  • Allow as many as 35 community members or employees to engage with nature in a meaningful way
  • Enable data collection and field surveys on these properties to better understand and plan for their restoration needs
  • Provide for HAT's land protection team to conduct yearly monitoring to identify and respond to any threats to these natural landscapes 

Our goal is to develop long-term sponsorships. Currently we are looking for a sponsorship of $1000 from each Habitat Guardian to start, and we hope that with your help we can raise or goal of $10,000 for this year's campaign by July 31st!

Your donation is customizable with the option to direct funds to a property near your neighbourhood and witness the positive impact of your sponsorship first-hand! 

habitatguardianBUTTONAre you a business owner interested in becoming a Habitat Guardian for this year's campaign? If so, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (250) 995-2428 today! 

Show the world you care. What's good for the planet is good for you.

Donate to Land Protection - Become a Habitat Guardian

 

 

Last year's Campaign


We did it! In 2017 our Habitat Guardians successfully helped us $10,000 for the Land Protection fund to the finalization of legal protection for coastline habitat at Calypso Woods Douglas-fir Forest. Thanks to local support from the community, funders and collaborators, Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), in partnership with the Community Cowichan Land Trust has registered this conservation covenant, legally protecting Calypso Woods and its important habitat forever. 

Nitya Harris Calypso Woods Christmas 2017

Aptly named for its large population of rare and beautiful Calypso Orchids, Calypso Woods is a uniquely picturesque natural area nestled in the Bilston Creek watershed, bordering between Langford and Metchosin. It features a tributary creek –  named Nitya Creek by the landowner – which drains into Bilston Creek and empties into Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin to support a Cutthroat Trout population.

 

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What's your plan for Make a Will week?

Small Camas Stacks 2017

The province of British Columbia has declared April 8-14, 2018 as Make a Will week to highlight the importance of having a will, and encouraging the public to write their will or bring an existing will up to date.

Perhaps it is a good time to consider updating or creating your will to ensure that the people, charities and organizations you cherish most receive the benefit of their legacy.

To celebrate Make a Will Week, we are reposting a wonderful article written by Alanah Nasadyk in 2017 about the Stacks, a lovely family who has included HAT in their will. 

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Taking deep calming breaths, close your eyes and imagine your favourite natural area… Now imagine protecting that place, and all of the features that make it special… What if we told you that people in your community are preserving their important places like yours? What if we told you that you could to?

Mike and Anne Stack own a beautiful property with a natural area in Saanich that was originally owned by Anne’s Father. Growing up on the land, watching as the surrounding farmer’s fields and rural space transformed into an urban space, Anne and Mike decided to do something about the fate of their forest. To do this, the Stacks have willed their property to the Habitat Acquisition Trust, so that a conservation covenant can be placed for the protection of its natural features. A truly thoughtful gift to leave to our community.

Before Anne’s family owned the land, it is recorded in the Saanich Archives as a fox farm built in 1901, called Rock Mount Fox Farm, and owned by the Elder family. Today their corner lot stands out with its display of greenery, including Garry oaks and Oso Berry bushes, with Fawn lilies and Camas below, growing among the exposed and mossy rock. One particular rock stands out among the rest and Mike tells us, “I always think of this as an amazing piece of rock, it’s been there since the ice age.” A glacial erratic! The Garry Oak Corner, as we call the Stacks' natural habitat, is a piece of the important urban forest. Ann explains, “The whole area was very rural, but as time went on, you know, other people’s traditions came, so this seems like a wonderful piece of property today.

As Anne’s family neighbourhood was subdivided and developed around them, Mike tells of an encounter, “a couple of years ago a real-estate chap walked up to me and said, ‘I can make you a rich man,’ and I replied that I am a rich man. He had no idea what I was talking about. Being responsible for this is so much richer than tiny bits of paper money.

Mike and Anne Stack 2017 smallPreserving neighbourhood community and spreading kindness is important to Mike and Anne, it’s plain to see as Anne tells us, When they subdivided around us, our neighbours were blocked a little bit, so we let them come through our yard. I think it keeps a sense of community, and that’s why we decided once we passed that it would be nice to have this path and this natural part protected”.

I always thought the woods were magical, even as a child making forts. But I know once we’re gone we’ll have no control of what happens, but this covenant at least gives us some ability to preserve it. Places like these in the urban areas are getting smaller you know, there are only small pockets of nature left, it’s worth preserving.

In their day-to-day life, the Stacks are wonderful stewards of their land for nature too. When one of their trees died, they asked arborists to top it and leave the rest as a wildlife tree with a native plant garden around the base. Anne has been planting native species like Red Flowering currants to enhance their natural area too. This spring, Anne even signed up for a native plant class at the Horitculture Centre of the Pacific saying, “we thought we could learn more about the native plants for this space.

The Stack’s naturescape has also been a help to nature as the host site of environmental studies. In the late 1970’s, when their trees had a Gall Wasp infestation, the city took notice and entomologist Bob Duncan and his colleagues came from the Pacific Forestry Centre to study the wasps. “It sounded like the oak trees were being rained upon with the sound of all of them chewing.” The Cooper’s Hawks that make the area home were also banded for a study done by Andy Stewart of the Ministry of Environment. While visiting with the Stacks this Spring, a hawk flew by and alighted on a high oak branch bringing excitement and awe to each of us present.

Stack 2017 small native plant garden

Stack 2017 small Red Flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum

The forested area of the Stack’s property is adjacent to Saanich land. In the past, Strawberry Vale School students, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, and the municipality teamed up to remove English Ivy there. With growing interest in and understanding of the value of urban forest in the community Ann We hope this article has inspired youhopes that this partnership can be rekindled to fight back the returning English Ivy.

It’s a nice feeling for us, that this is a continuing project that will go on long after we are gone.” Mike tells us. “Right now, we’re just happy that if anything happens to us that it’s set and HAT would protect the land. Some of the most peaceful, calm moments of my life have been to walk through all of this at dawn.” Anne shares.

Mike is pleased to see the direction that people in the Habitat Acquisition Trust community are going, “It’s amazing, I started teaching in the very early 70’s, and during the 80’s it was most disheartening. Everyone wanted to be rich, everyone wanted to be a player in the dot com era. I’ve been looking at new letters from HAT and seeing that young people are more interested in going green now than anyone! Certainly it’s the educational aspect of HAT, getting young people involved which really hits me.

Before we parted from a lovely visit with Mike and Anne, Anne told us, “HAT has a good perspective of what they are able to accomplish which allows them to accomplish more than when organizations try to do everything.

If Habitat Acquisition Trust can inspire and educate the future generations of Habitat Stewards, while helping people protect their precious natural areas for the benefit of our entire community, then we are all thrilled with everything we are accomplishing for you. We thank you, and both Anne and Mike, for the opportunity to protect nature together.

Thank you for reading. We hope this article has inspired you to consider creating a legacy for nature in your will, like Mike and Anne. If so, we would be happy to sit down and chat at your convenience. Habitat Acquisition Trust can be reached at 250-995-2428 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can access online information about planning the positive impact you will leave for the Earth here. There are many ways to look after yourself, your family, and nature with a thoughtful gift. Speaking to your lawyer or financial advisor soon to create a plan can give you peace of mind.

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Read more: What's your plan for Make a Will week?

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