Created in 1997 Oak Haven Park protects an endangered Garry Oak ecosystem, considered the third most endangered ecosystem in Canada and now restricted to south-eastern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. The park, which encompasses Garry Oak meadows and mossy rock outcrops, is part of a larger natural ecosystem associated with Tod Inlet/Creek and the Gowlland Range. The natural scenery is spectacular, affording views over Saanich Inlet, the farmland of Central Saanich, and Mount Baker to the east.
More than 90 plant species have been identified in the park. The upper part of the park area has a mosaic of open, scrub and parkland forest vegetation of Garry Oak with snowberry, ocean-spray, and grasses such as bluegrass and California oatgrass, mixed with rock outcrops covered by grass and moss. Colourful Springtime blooms include fawn lilies, camas, seablush and satin flower. The lower part of the park supports open forests of Douglas-fir with an understorey of ocean-spray, hairy honeysuckle and moss.The Tod/Gowlland ecosystem is home to blacktail deer, black bear, cougar, raccoons and other small mammals as well as a diversity of birds, bats and rodents.
In 2004, the Land Conservancy and Habitat Acquisition Trust covenanted Oak Haven Park to halt development and reduce threats to the park such as erosion, and species loss from heavy foot traffic.
Much of the park has been shown to be highly sensitive to wildlife disturbance as well as having a high potential for wildlife species at risk, so please stay on designated trails, pack out what you pack in, and have fun!
What You Can Do
Covenants – if you have a natural property with sensitive ecosystems or rare species of ecological value the best thing you can do is to take the first step and come by the office to chat with our Covenants and Acquisitions Coordinator Barb or give her a call at 250-995-2428.
Conservation covenants aren’t suitable for every property but don’t worry there is still lots you can do!
Good Neighbours – check out our Good Neighbours page to see what area we are focusing on this year!
Become a Habitat Steward – we wish we could come visit everyone’s property, but in the meantime if your property isn’t in our focus area you can still become a habitat steward! Here’s a list of things you can do:
- Use of efficient irrigation and naturescaping with native plants -Gardening with Native Plants
- Eliminate use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
- Remove invasive plants like broom and daphne - Grow Me Instead
- Keep oil and other toxics out of storm drains – wash your car on your lawn!
- Maintain soil by mulching leaves
- Plant and protect buffers along water edges - Riparian Areas & Watersheds
- Provide habitat by keeping fallen and dead trees, unless they are a safety hazard - Urban Forests
To support these programs and land conservation make a gift to nature today: hat.bc.ca/donate