Coastal Sand Dune Restoration, Saanich Peninsula, March 10, 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team engaged 6 community members at a rare coastal sand dune habitat off the Saanich Peninsula. We removed lots of Scotch Broom that had completely overcrowded the natural habitat. This habitat is rare, with many at-risk species present, so removing invasive species is very important work! Scotch Broom was introduced to Vancouver Island in the 19th century, and has spread widely throughout Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. It grows 1-3 metres tall, so outcompetes the low-lying native plants for sunshine and soil nutrients. The plant spreads by seed, and can produce millions of seeds that live in the soil up to 30 years! By removing the invasive plants, we are helping the native vegetation regenerate and restore the natural soil composition and open habitat. The at-risk species in this habitat include Yellow Sand-Verbena, silky beach pea, Howell’s Triteleia, Contorted-Pod Evening Primrose and Black Knotweed.

Group Photo!


Thank-you to everyone for participating: Anna, Stephanie, Chad, Cedar, Cindy and Anne!

Thank-you very much to The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for partnering with us and contributing to our Green Team activities and for recognizing the importance of of investing in your community members and green spaces!


  • In total 6 volunteers participated and contributed to 35 volunteer hours!
  • 5 volunteers were introduced to the NCC site, while 1 volunteer had never removed Scotch Broom before!
  • We removed 48 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • We saw schools of smelt, a mink before we left the dock in the morning!
  • We found Yellow Sand-Verbena, a native at-risk species!

Before and After

This activity not only benefitted the environment, but also the participants themselves. By being out in nature doing something positive as a team, our community members:

  • Develop a sense of belonging to community and place
  • Have improved mental and physical health
  • Connect to nature, which leads to environmentally responsible behaviour
  • Learn about local environmental issues and actions they can take
  • Learn the value of bringing together people to work towards a common goal
  • Become leaders in their communities
  • Increase confidence, resilience and perseverance

What out Volunteers Had to Say

“The impact is to get people motivated to care about their environment. That you don’t need to be an expert to help nature. Guidance and good leadership shown in the outing allowed all to fully participate. Environmental work is rewarding. We left the site feeling satisfied of our efforts.” – Anne

“It was a beautiful location and the trip over and back made it a special experience. The food was very good and it was a nice group of people. Our work on James Island will make a difference to the ecosystem, but it is vitally important that the work continues for several years otherwise the broom will bounce back quickly.” – Anna

“I enjoyed seeing the impact on the ground for how much biomass was removed and the genuine enthusiasm over working together in a new place” – Stephanie

A school of forage fish before getting onto the boat, what a cool thing to see!

Action Shots

Thank you to Ed’s Soup for Donating In-Kind Rewards to our Hard Working Community Members!

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