Coastal Sand Dune Restoration, Saanich Peninsula, March 3, 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: Roy, Katerina, Ben, Cindy, Kai, Stuart and Sarein from NCC!

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 32 volunteer hours!
  • All 6 volunteers were introduced to the NCC site, while 4 volunteers had never removed Scotch Broom before!
  • We removed 43.2 cubic metres of invasive plants!
  • We saw lots of gulls and Bald Eagles out near the shoreline!
  • 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

“This is so satisfying to see all the work we have done!” – Cindy

“I’m so excited to see what the site looks like at the end of these events in March!” – Kai

“I am definitely going to come back to more Green Teams events, and bring my kids next time!” – Katerina

Some sprouting Yellow Sand-Verbena through the Sand!

Action Shots

Thank you to Ed’s Soup for providing In-Kind Rewards for our Volunteers!

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