Ivy, other plants, and more ivy

Hey folks! It may have been a little while since you’ve heard from us, so here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to with the ERVN:

Last weekend, ourselves along with TLC hosted a workshop with The Land Conservancy of BC in Cunningham Woods on campus. We took part in a very collaborative plant ID session, and learned some best practices for invasive species removal from a local gardener extaordinaire! Following that, we pulled a massive amount of English ivy in the woods.  Progress is being made, and it just goes to show the power of volunteers to tackle invasives in a collective effort over a long period of time!

Volunteers bathing in all their holly and ivy glory.

This week and last, we partnered up with the UVic Art Hive to do two rounds of ivy weaving, using ivy that has been removed from Cunningham Woods.  Hopefully our creations inspire you to do some of your own nature-arting!

Weaving projects created using English ivy (Hedera helix). Photo credit: Sophia Romanchuk

And you may be asking, what else is coming up for the ERVN? Well, this week we’ll be having a meeting in Cunningham Woods, where we’ll do some planning and a little bit of odds and ends work in our restoration area.  Join us Thursday, March 10th at 10:00am for this! If you need directions to the woods, e-mail nature@uvic.ca

As well, this Saturday, from 10:00am-12:00pm, you can attend a plant walk with UVic’s own Val Schaefer, the director of the Restoration of Natural Systems Program, as a part of IdeaFest! We’ll be discussing urban restoration, plants, and specific projects on campus which incorporate edible landscapes, student led projects, rain gardens, and more! Check out the poster here.

And finally, the ERVN along with The Land Conservancy of BC will be hosting a Bioblitz in Cunningham Woods next Saturday, March 19th, from 9:00am-3:00pm.  We will be identifying all of the plants, animals, fungi, and other living organisms as we possibly can! Check out the poster here.

Clowning around in the ivy patch

A couple of weeks ago, a small group of us students made our way to the beloved Cunningham Woods on UVic’s campus to do what we love to do: tackle English ivy (Hedera helix), hack down English holly (Ilex aquifolium), carefully cut down daphne (Daphne laureola), and engage in all sorts of other restoration tomfoolery.   A couple of hours of hard work left us with a big ol’ pile of invasives, shown below:

A group of lovely volunteers in front of English ivy, English holly, and daphne, all removed from Cunningham Woods.

Following the pulling, coffee drinking, and muffin eating, a few of us stuck around to process the fruits of our labour.  English holly trees were sawed down and their logs removed for use in future construction projects (what these will be, we do not yet know), and English ivy vines were stripped of their leaves and coiled for drying.  These vines are set to be used for weaving in an activity we will be facilitating with the UVic Art Hive on March 2nd and 9th.  Stay tuned for that, and if you have an interest in using invasive species for new and exciting purposes, chat with us! Or check this guy out.  And more photos:

Ivy on ivy on ivy

Name that fun-guy! (Seriously we have no idea what this is)

(All photo credits go to the smart and sophisticated Julia Jennings)

Finally, a happy reading break to all of you students, and a happy second week of February to all of you non-students!  See you in the future.

We’re kicking off the New Year!

After a month+ of absence on this here site, we are back in action, with the new semester at UVic having just started up.  For all of you folks who have no doubt been patiently awaiting information on what the restoration community has to offer this January, here it is!


ERVN Events On & Around Campus

Thursday, January 21

Bi-Weekly Club Meeting, 10:00am

We will be having our first club meeting of the year this Thursday outside of the Vertigo Lounge, in the SUB.  While this time has been chosen based on the availability of several folks who frequent our meetings, we know it might be an awkward time for many of you who have morning classes.  If you are interested in coming out to a meeting but cannot make this particular time, please feel free to e-mail nature@uvic.ca and we can work something out.  For now, these meetings will happen once every two weeks at the same time, but we are open to switching it up!

Saturday, January 23

Cunningham Woods Ivy Pull, 10:00am-12:00pm

Join us in our beloved Cunningham Woods this Saturday for our semester’s first English ivy removal work party! This event is of particular significance because it will involve us doing some careful gathering of supplies for a future invasive species crafting workshop.  Our lovely friend Wendy will be showing us how to prepare English ivy for weaving and basketry.  Snacks, tools, gloves, and coffee will be provided.  Please come prepared with weather appropriate clothing and shoes!  For those of you who have never been to our site, please meet us in front of the main library on campus at 9:50am.


Around Town & Beyond

Tuesday, January 19th

Botany Night, 7:30pm

Join Victoria’s Natural History Society for Botany Night, a monthly evening event, held at the Swan Lake Nature House featuring a speaker’s take on plants and ecology.  This week’s evening features Dr. Richard Hebda in a discussion of “Climate, landscapes, and plant communities 130 to 30 thousand years ago in Southwest BC”.  This is going to be a good one; we hope to see you there!  See the attached poster for more information.

Thursday, January 21

Saanich Pulling Together Work Party @ PKOLS/Mt. Doug, 10:00am

Join these folks in a morning invasive species removal event this Thursday (and every Thursday) at a nearby forest!  See their website for more details: http://www.saanich.ca/parkrec/parks/natural/pullingtogethervolunteerprogram.html

Saturday, January 23

Invasive Pull with the Community Tool Shed, 9:00am-2:00pm

Join Cheryl Bryce and the folks from the Community Tool Shed for an invasive species removal event on Tl’ches (Chatham Isand).  This event will take place over most of the day, so you will need to bring a lunch, water, and weather appropriate clothing.  Folks who RSVP will meet at the Oak Bay Marina and will be transported over to the island by boat.  Please RSVP to ctoolshed@gmail.com if you plan to attend, or e-mail these folks for more information.

HAT Restoration Day at Ruby Creek, 11:00am-3:00pm

The Habitat Acquisition Trust invites you to join in an invasive species removal (particularly to tackle the notorious daphne) event at their Ruby Creek covenant along Witty’s Lagoon.  Bring a lunch and weather appropriate clothing.  All of the rest will be provided.  For more details or to RSVP, e-mail volunteers@hat.bc.ca or call 250-995-2428.

Until next week! Stay tuned; we have lots of exciting events in store for this spring that you will not want to miss out on!

A late November update

The sun is setting early, the frost is setting in, and for many of us students, the final educational crunch is setting us up for a long couple of caffeine and computer screen-filled weeks (this little bunny thinks you can do it!!).

As such, things are slowing down for the ERVN, and will continue to do so into the holiday season.  You will be kept updated here, though, on the goings on around town as they come up!

This week, we will have our final club meeting outside the Vertigo Lounge, SUB, at 4:30 pm on Thursday (December 3rd). Come out for a little re-cap of our semester, and to plan a final club event for the year (a crafting night)!

And here’s what’s going on around town this week:

Thursday, December 3rd

Saanich Pulling Together at PKOLS (Mt. Doug Park), 10:00am

Join the folks at Pulling Together for an invasive species removal event.  For more information, see: http://www.saanich.ca/parkrec/parks/natural/pullingtogethervolunteerprogram.html

Saturday, December 5th

Fort Rodd Hill Restoration, 10:00am-3:00pm

Head out to the National Historic Site to pull some Daphne laureola with a wonderful group of people! Make sure to stop by the Garry oak learning meadow on your way out.  Volunteers should bring along with them weather appropriate clothing and water.  Pizza lunch, tools and training will be provided.  Please RSVP by e-mail to frh.volunteer@pc.gc.ca or by phone, (250) 812-8133.

For more information, visit: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/fortroddhill/activ/activ2.aspx

Planting Party Success

This past weekend’s planting party went exceptionally well, with a total of 7 volunteers planting a variety of native plants and sowing native plant seed in Cunningham Woods.  We stayed within a single zone, from which ivy was pulled a year ago.  Species planted included red huckleberry, Douglas aster, woodland strawberry, fringecup, and Douglas fir.

A couple of fringecups (Tellima grandiflora) planted by our lovely volunteers, and straight from our nursery.

Volunteers planting Douglas fir seedlings in Cunningham Woods

What’s up next for Cunningham Woods? In the winter months, we will be collecting the rhizomes and root cuttings of various species that we can grow in our nursery and eventually plant in this forest.  Stay tuned for that and other upcoming events!  More events for this week coming soon.

Breathe new life into the forest with us!

Restoration requires a great deal of work put into removing, removing, removing invasive species.  The eradication of invasive species is daunting task.  The process seems, at times, as though it will never end – and it may not.  But every once in a while, amidst the constant pressure we put on the lives of a few notorious introduced species, we need to breathe new life into an ecosystem. Re-introducing species that have long been out-competed is sometimes necessary in systems that need a little help getting back on their roots, and is a refreshing experience.  Over the past year, we have been working to grow a small number of native plants in our nursery.  While some mistakes were made, we learned a great deal, and are able to say that our first round of native plants is ready to be given back to the forest floor, where English ivy once dominated.

This Saturday at 1:00pm, we will be heading out to Cunningham Woods, on campus, to plant - both the plants we’ve grown, and some that were kindly donated to us by the folks at Beacon Hill Park’s native plant nursery.  We will also be scattering some seeds (also kindly donated).  Species include red huckleberry, red columbine, great camas, nodding onion, fringecup, and others.  We welcome you to join us – this is a great opportunity to learn about the nursery and native plant propagation.

Meet us at the pyramid with no point (ha ha!) in front of the MacLaurin building, at 12:45.

This week in restoration news

Here’s our weekly list of events for you! We encourage everyone to come out to our club meeting this Thursday to discuss some exciting events we have coming up.  PLUS, this Sunday is Tree Appreciation Day – try and get out there to show your tall friends some love!

ERVN Events On & Around Campus

Thursday, November 5

ERVN club meeting, 4:30-5:30pm

Join us outside of the Vertigo, in the SUB this Thursday to talk about some exciting events we have coming up, and have a chat about the natural areas on campus! If this is not a convenient time for you and you are hoping to attend a meeting in the future, please e-mail us at nature@uvic.ca – we want to make things work for everyone who wants to be involved in some way.

Friday, November 6

TLC Monitoring Workshop Series, 2:00-4:00pm

Join us for the third in a series of ecosystem monitoring workshops hosted by The Land Conservancy of BC.  This week, we will be exploring soil testing methods and wildlife tree assessment.  We will start off in the basement of the SUB, room B025.  If you did not attend previous workshops, don’t worry! All are welcome.

Around Town & Beyond

Saturday, November 7

Haliburton Biodiversity Project work party, 10:00am-1:00pm

The Haliburton Biodiversity Project is a volunteer based initiative, which works enhance and restore wetland, meadow, and forest habitat at Haliburton Community Organic Farm.  Join these lovely folks for a work party and learn about the amazing wetland restoration project on the site.  This is also a great place to check out one of the region’s native plant nurseries.  Lunch, tools, and gloves will be provided.  Please e-mail halibiodiversity@gmail.com for more information, and e-mail us at nature@uvic.ca if you are interested in joining on a ride share to the site!

Fort Rodd Hill restoration work party, 10:00am-3:00pm

Join Parks Canada at this historical site to learn about Garry oak ecosystems and help remove invasive species! A pizza lunch, tools, and gloves will all be provided.  Rides from the nearest bus stop can be arranged for those without wheels! For more information, or to RSVP, contact frh.volunteer@pc.gc.ca or call 250-812-8133

Sunday, November 8 (Tree Appreciation Day!)

Community Tool Shed invasive pull, 10:30am

Join the folks from the Community Tool Shed at Meegan (Beacon Hill Park) for an invasive species pull.  E-mail ctoolshed@gmail.com for more information

Ever heard of the Habitat Acquisition Trust? This organization is a regional land trust that conserves nature on southern Vancouver Island, by increasing the amount of protected natural areas in the region, maintaining and restoring these areas, engaging the public and the community, and much more.  The organization works in partnership with the government, other organizations, community members, and landowners to establish legal protection of and conserve an array of natural habitats in our region.  Check them out here.

HAT will be hosting a number of exciting events this month, so stay tuned! Here are this week’s events – to RSVP to any or find out more, e-mail volunteers@hat.bc.ca

TONIGHT! Tuesday, November 3

Urban Forest Panel Discussion, 7:00pm

HAT will be hosting a group of local tree experts, urban planners, and others to discuss urban forest protection! The event will take place at 2451 Windsor Road, at the Windsor Pavillion, Oak Bay. Contact jill@hat.bc.ca for more information.

Friday, November 6

Havenwood Park Community Weed Pull, 9:30am-2:00pm

Volunteers at this event will be cleaning up a site for future native species planting.  Coffee, tools and training will be provided; just bring your own water, weather appropriate clothing, and lunch! Volunteers will meet on Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Sunday, November 8

Tree Appreciation Day at Uplands Park, 10:00am-1:00pm

Join HAT at Uplands Park for a tree planting event and go on an urban forest walk.  Meet at the Uplands Sign on Beach Drive.

Enjoy your extra hour and the crisp November air,

Lindsay & the ERVN Team

Covenant monitoring and more!

A quick note: we have finally updated our events calendar, so for anyone looking to see what’s coming up for the ERVN, take a look!  Last week, The Land Conservancy of BC hosted a workshop at UVic, educating students on land covenants and their covenant monitoring program.  We had a great turnout and were able to learn about site classification and ground inspection forms.  We have just heard that TLC will be hosting two more monitoring workshops of the like! These sessions will provide participants with training and build capacity for those wishing to volunteer with TLC’s covenant monitoring program in the future – a great opportunity.  This week’s workshop will take place on Friday, October 30th in SUB room B025, from 2:00-4:00pm (and will move to Cunningham Woods later on for hands on experience).  E-mail covenants@conservancy.bc.ca to RSVP or for more information!

We also had a great turnout for our trip to Fort Rodd Hill this past Saturday – thank you to all of you who came out to pull daphne!


More ERVN Events on & Around Campus

Saturday, October 31

Invasive species removal @ Prospect Lake, 10:00am-12:30pm

The ERVN will be joining UVic student in the implementation of her final ER390 project, working on a land covenant site to restore blue-grey taildropper slug habitat.  Gloves and tools, as wells as cookies will be provided!  Rides can be organized between those who RSVP (myself and Bryana can both give rides).  For more details, or to RSVP, please contact Bryana Matthews at bryana_matthews@hotmail.com


Around Town & Beyond

Tuesday, October 27

Intertidal Field Trip, 8:45pm

You are all invited to join Biology 321 students on a field trip to Clover Point, to observe and learn about marine invertebrates and their habitats.  Attendees will meet at 8:45 at Clover Point.  For more details (including a map), see the document attached to this e-mail.

That’s all for this week!

October Restoration Festivities!

Here’s hoping you all had a warm and cozy Thanksgiving weekend!  We at the ERVN are especially thankful for all of you and the work you do.  The positive impact we have had in natural areas over the past few years could not have happened without the hard work of our beautiful volunteers – so treat yourself today, because you’re great!

We have been on a website hiatus for a little while now, but we’re back! Bear with us as we get things up and running – soon enough we will have an events calendar for you all to stay up to date with.  For now, here is our weekly newsletter:

ERVN Events on & Around Campus

The ERVN is looking for volunteers to take on a few roles for the remainder of the semester.  Help is needed around the nursery and for upcoming work parties; roles are flexible and require a fairly low level of commitment.  See the following document to sign up, or e-mail nature@uvic.ca if you have any questions:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dsuySS2J9dUVe8qqja2Zh_9Hj6SuPfcjYxpmpeIrVUo/edit

Around Town & Beyond

Wednesday, October 14: Matson Lands Restoration, 10:00am-2:00pm

Join HAT to pull ivy in the Matson Conservation Area, Esquimalt, and improve hummingbird habitat! Coffee, tools, and training will be provided.  For more details: http://www.hat.bc.ca/component/jevents/icalrepeat.detail/2015/10/14title=matson-lands-restoration-community-weed-pull/0/-/-?rp_id=30&Itemid=0

Saturday, October 17: Tree planting & ivy removal, 9:45am

Join the Greater Victoria Green Team at Saxe Point Park, planting Douglas fir and pulling English ivy.  RSVP and see details on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Greater-Victoria-Green-Team/events/224722025/

Sunday, October 18: Invasive species removal, 1:00pm

Join the Greater Victoria Green Team at Uplands Park for ivy and daphne removal.  Refreshments and treats provided! RSVP and see details on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Greater-Victoria-Green-Team/events/225019121/

Lindsay & the ERVN Team

Spring is peeking up through the ground early this year! Here are some weekly events to get you outside and enjoying the early arrival:

TUES  March 10

Cool stuff you can do with Fungi! A three part series Tuesdays at 7pm at the Cornerstone Cafe in Fernwood. Starting tonight! Come out the learn about the uses of fungi, mycorremediation and mushroom companions. Check out the event s page here:https://www.facebook.com/events/441559442661875/


WEDS March 11

No meeting this week, BUT come plant Salal and learn about soil sampling at 2:30 with Lindsay. Email lindsaykathrens@gmail.com to RSVP

———————————————————————————————————————–THURS March 12

4-5:30pm Seed Swap at the garden! Bring some seeds for trade or come just to learn more!


FRI March 13

** Reminder Essence submissions are due today! ** please email your wonderful writing, poetry, and artwork to: essencenewspaper@gmail.com Theme: Change! Restore! Grow! Renew!
——————————————————————————————————————————–SAT March 14

9:30-2:00pm Join HAT for an invasive species removal of daphne holly and scotch broom at Havenwood Park. A 30 minute training is provided as well as coffee!! RSVP to volunteers@hat.bc.ca


Greater Victoria green team events Calendar: Events on Thursday and Friday this week! Follow the link for more info and to RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/greater-victoria-green-team
This week’s Saanich pulling together volunteer program Calendar:http://www.saanich.ca/parkrec/parks/natural/pullingtogethervolunteerprogram.html——————————————————————————————————————————-*Any more Zine art and info is welcome, we will hold onto submissions to compile in the fall

*Interested in implementing more native plants ( and less ivy!) in the gardens around campus? Email me!

*Stay tuned for some wicked plant walks and pulls that will bust your end of term stress!

Hope you are all enjoying the slightly longer days! Until next week nasturtiums,
the ERVN team