Coastal Sand Dune Restoration, Saanich Peninsula, March 18, 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.

March 18th was the last of 4 special events we held at this site managed by the Nature Conservancy. We have done a lot of work on this site, and the efforts by our wonderful community members are so appreciated!

Group Photo!


Thank you to our community members for participating: Cindy, Richard, Sarah, Julian, Amanda, Melissa, Lauren, Meara and Colleen!

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 43 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 18 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • We saw Belted Kingfishers , a pair of Bald Eagles, a Blue Heron and heard many Meadowlarks!
  • 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 is wild how satisfying seeing all the scotch broom that we removed is. So cool!” – Meara

“Greater Victoria Green Team is so organized and so knowledgeable! We have such good information before we come, and have good food and such good conversation during the event!” – Cindy

” I enjoyed being out in nature, making a difference, physical activity, positive for mental health, lunch and snacks, meeting like minded people” – Lauren

Cindy was able to come to three events in March with GVGT, and got her T-Shirt! Yay, Cindy!

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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