Lora Morandin, program manager in western Canada for the Pollinator Partnership, stands in a meadow near Lochside Trail that will undergo restoration later this summer. She is holding up a sweat bee. It – unlike the familiar honey bee – is native to the region and the pending restoration of the meadow promises to improve the number of native pollinators like the sweat bee, boosting ecological health and food production. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Buzz of activity fills Saanich meadow

Restoration efforts will remove invasive species near Lochside Trail

To the untrained eye, a small meadow along the Lochside Trail looks like an ordinary patch of overgrown grass.

But for Lora Morandin, program manager for Pollinator Partnership, it is full of invasive plant species that have undermined local ecological diversity.

With the exception of a few native grasses, shrubs and trees, invasive species have overrun the meadow. Once part of the Garry oak ecosystem that used to define the region, its defining feature is a transmission line tower. Later this summer though, efforts will get underway to restore the meadow by planting hundreds of native plants and a substantial variety of native plant seeds.

Ian Bruce, executive director of the Peninsula Streams Society, said the restoration will start in late August and continue through September.

“It will take about two years to fully bloom,” he said.

But it will be worth the wait.

For one, it will have esthetic benefits, he said. “I hope that people will learn more about an ecosystem that we used to have more of, and appreciate it.”

Morandin said it will help local insect and bird populations to flourish, as the current state of the meadow is not very attractive to those populations.

“Native pollinators are keystone species,” she said. “They are needed to pollinate flowers, but they are also needed as food for other animals. So we are trying to increase insects and help the ecosystem.”

Benefactors of this restoration effort will include farmers in nearby Blenkinsop Valley. They will benefit from the increase in pollinator species that the meadow will attract, thereby helping to ensure crop production.

Students attending nearby Reynolds secondary school will also benefit by learning more about pollinators and associated plants. In fact, some have already begun lending a hand by helping Morandin survey the pollinator species using the meadow. This involves hovering over sections of meadow and recording insect species.

With their help, Morandin will be able to compare and contrast the number of pollinator species before and after the restoration. The meadow will also serve as a living lab for future students attending Reynolds.

Interpretive signs will offer additional information to the public, said Bruce.

Funding for the restoration project comes from a range of sources. They include the Victoria Real Estate Board ($5,000), a provincial community gaming grant ($5,000), BC Hydro ($10,000) and Don Mann Construction, who will contribute $20,000 in kind towards the project.

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

Saanich councillor calls for interim Garry oak protection from development

Development in Saanich needs no environmental permits

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read