Volunteer Marlo Shaw carries holly out of Havenwood Park.

Popular Colwood park getting needed TLC

Nov. 6 and 28 marked for Havenwood Park restoration days

Volunteers are needed for continuing restorations at Havenwood Park.

A joint initiative between the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), the City of Colwood and the Friends of Havenwood Park is on the lookout for green-thumbed volunteers to help continue improvement efforts at the West Shore park, which is languishing on the border of Colwood and Langford.

“This is a beautiful park and an opportunity to participate in the restoration and a creation of natural habitat,” said Wendy Tyrrell, habitat management co-ordinator for the Trust.

“Not only do we provide tools and gloves and all training to learn both the native and introduced plants, we provide instruction on what we are doing, why we are restoring it and how we will be maintaining it in the future.”

The two-phase restoration project, one of many in the nature park, will see the City of Colwood excavate up to half an acre of land, property that Tyrrell described as “disturbed and severely damaged.” A nearby  housing development removed some of the tree cover in the area, she said, and a windstorm in 2006 did further damage.

Day one on Nov. 6 (from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is preparation for the site, with city crews excavating the Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry and orchard grass. Volunteers will clean up the area, add soil and mulch in certain areas and prepare for the creation of a chip trail.

“The park is one of a handful of natural habitats and areas in Colwood that are permanently protected. (They are) amazing habitats with a variation of wetland areas and riparian areas and two beautiful Garry oak rock outcrop areas,” Tyrrell said. “All species associated with Garry oak are in peril and represented very well here.”

The second phase of the project, planned for a Nov. 28 restoration day, features the planting of a mixed forest, including Douglas fir, arbutus trees with an understory of snowberry and bald-hip rose, among other potential vegetation. The hope is to recreate top soil and rebuild what Tyrrell described as a “natural vegetation community.”

The entrance to the 40-acre park is on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway between Resolution Way and Brookside Road. Both events will see coffee and light refreshments, gloves, tool and even training and transportation provided, if needed. Participants are responsible for their own lunch and water and weather-suitable clothing is highly encouraged.

Anyone interested in attending either or both of the restoration dates can RSVP to volunteers@hat.bc.ca or call the Habitat Acquisition Trust at 250-995-2428.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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