2008 Knockan Hill Park Good Neighbours Project
© Steven C Armstrong
HAT joined forces with local residents and municipalities during the summer of 2008 to protect and restore Knockan Hill Park which contains some of the last Garry oak meadows in Victoria. The Friends of Knockan Hill Park Society (FKHPS) invited HAT to provide community outreach services to over 400 residents bordering the park. The goal of this project was to raise awareness about the high value of natural areas for biodiversity and community health. This project is part of HAT’s award winning Good Neighbours strategy to protect our region’s last remaining significant habitats. To download our final report on the Knockan Hill Project as a PDF, please click here.
Although officially protected as a municipal park, Knockan Hill still faces increasing threats that could reduce its biodiversity and habitat values over the long term. Invasive species, isolation, soil erosion, and inappropriate recreational uses impact the park’s sensitive ecosystems.
Local residents learned that they play a crucial role in park protection. They can make a real difference in the park’s health through simple actions on their own land and on Knockan Hill.
Interested homeowners received free information packages, a unique map of the area, and a confidential visit by HAT biologists. Over 25 eco-friendly neighbours joined HAT’s network of more than 200 Habitat Stewards throughout our region.
“The Friends of Knockan Hill Park Society are thrilled that HAT is delivering a Good Neighbours Project in the area, said resident David Trudel. “This should go a long way towards enhancing the neighbourhood's appreciation of the park and will also significantly mitigate the risks to the park.”
HAT hosted several events in and around the park for residents and students. In May and June, HATs’ speaker series highlighted the spring wildflower bloom, ecological functions, and native history of these rare habitats. Topics included insect pollinators, tree care, native plants for food and medicine, nature photography, and naturescaping for wildlife.
The Capital Regional District presented the
2009 Ecostar Award for Land Stewardship
to HAT for the Knockan Project.
Free Seaker Series at 1pm on the following Saturdays:
May 24: Brenda Beckwith PhD. presents native peoples' use of fire to grow camas plants and other foods
May 31: Todd Carnahan presents a nature photography workshop; bring your camera to learc techniques on capturing excellent images of birds, flowers and landscapes
June 7: Ron Carter, Saanich Tree Preservation Officer presents tree health and other woodland lore. Learn what you can do to keep your oak and arbutus healthy.
June 14: Claudia Copley (RBCM entomologist) and her bird expert partner Darren Copley present the birds and the bees of Knockan Hill Park. Bring your binoculars and dress in drab colors.
Students at Royal Roads University partnered with Saanich and View Royal to create a park management plan to guide park activities over the long term.
5th Tsartlip Cub Scouts painted over 35 storm drains on May 6th to raise awareness of the salmon living downstream in Colquitz Creek.
Thanks to our project sponsors including the District of Saanich, the Town of View Royal, BC Gaming Commission, Vancity, Shell Environmental Fund, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.