Coastal Sand Dune Restoration, Saanich Peninsula, March 12, 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team engaged 8 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 our community members for participating: Richard, Julian, Mieke, Rosanna, Barbara, Andre, Audrey and Laruen!

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 8 volunteers participated and contributed 45 volunteer hours!
  • 5 volunteers were introduced to the NCC site and this type of ecosystem, and 5 volunteers had never removed Scotch Broom before!
  • We removed 36 cubic metres of invasive plants from an area of 370 square metres.
  • We saw Belted Kingfishers and a pair of Common Mergansers!
  • We found Yellow Sand-Verbena, a native at-risk species!
  • Previous activities at this site:

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 our Volunteers Had to Say

“It’s very impactful! It helps to bring communities together (I’ve met and chatted with several new people that I wouldn’t have otherwise), benefits the environment (The team clears large areas of invasive species in a very thorough manner) and improves parks for anyone wishing to visit them. It’s a very beneficial program and I hope I can continue to volunteer under it for many years to come!” – Mieke

“This was THE best experience I had so far with GVGT … This opportunity to go to this site was priceless. What a fulfilling experience.” – Audrey

“It brings people together, educates, connects us to the land, and cultivates a closer relationship with our local ecosystems” – Lauren

Julian conquers the Scotch Broom!

Action Shots

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

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