A memorial garden is being established for longtime Metchosin councillor Moralea Milne, who died in a car crash last July. (File photo)

Volunteers begin work on memorial garden for former Metchosin counsellor

Garden a fitting tribute to Moralea Milne, a champion of Garry oak ecosystems

After Metchosin Coun. Moralea Milne was tragically killed in a car accident last summer, community members came together to recommend a memorial garden in her honour.

People thought the garden would be a fitting tribute for Milne, who was a “great champion” for Garry oak ecosystems and the use of native plants around the community, Coun. Andy MacKinnon said.

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The Garry oak meadow west of the municipal hall will incorporate the garden. It’s bordered on one side by the driveway to the municipal hall and on the long side by a road that leads to the equestrian area, cricket pitch and field.

Volunteers have begun removing invasive plants and establishing new ones, including stone plants.

“People…have been keen to help,” MacKinnon said.

The primary tasks are repairing and replacing the fence around the meadow.

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“If new native plants are established there, they will be eaten fairly quickly by the municipal bunnies,” he said.

Volunteers, led by Katy Nelson, will have to find a way to make the enclosure rabbit proof.

It’s a “multi-year process” that’s a fitting tribute to Milne and her love of the Garry oak ecosystem and native plants, MacKinnon said.

“We’ve had a huge number of volunteers from the community,” he added.

Katy Nelson, a volunteer who is spearheading the project, submitted a proposal in November requesting funding and partial municipal labour to help build the fence and a pathway.

The Metchosin foundation provided the project a $5,000 grant a $500 each year for ten years for “upkeep and continued maintenance,” Nelson said. Council also unanimously passed a proposal in principle that its public works would help with the fence and in adding a rabbit barrier.

“We’re not just looking at building a pretty little meadow. It is to be restored, and it’s ongoing because, something like that, you don’t just do it and walk away from it. It always needs care and attention,” she added.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


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