Coastal Sand Dune Restoration with Nature Conservancy Canada, August 18, 2022

The Greater Victoria Green Team engaged 7 community members at a rare coastal sand dune habitat off the Saanich Peninsula! We removed lots of European Beachgrass that had overgrown the natural sand dune, preventing native species from growing there. This habitat is rare, with many at-risk species present, so removing invasive species is very important work! The at-risk species in this habitat include Contorted-Pod Evening Primrose, Yellow Sand-Verbena, Howell’s Triteleia, and Black Knotweed. More common native sand dune species include Dunegrass and Large-headed Sedge.

European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) is native to the beaches of Europe and North Africa. It’s invasive all along the Pacific coast of North America from California to British Columbia, and it’s even invasive in New Zealand and Western Australia! It spreads by growing long, underground shoots called rhizomes that are capable of sprouting a new plant. These rhizomes can grow up to 2 metres long, and can even survive breaking off the plant, floating through the ocean to a new site, and growing on the beach they land on! The ease with which it can re-sprout makes it especially difficult to get rid of.

We will be returning to this site again on August 23rd, 25th & 31st to continue our work here!


Thank you to our community members for participating: Annie, Rhianedd, Roy, Barbara, Aldo, Anne, and Michele!

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!

Group Photo!


  • In total 7 community members volunteered and contributed 43 volunteer hours!
  • 5 volunteers were introduced to the this site!
  • We removed 3.5 cubic metres of invasive beachgrass, and revitalized 150 square metres of sand dune habitat!
  • We learned some great riddles from Rhianedd & Aldo!

Before and After Photos

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

Volunteer Testimonials

“It was nice to travel somewhere we hadn’t been. This program gives my kid a sense of the value in doing for others and our planet, and it helps the environment.” – Barbara

Anne demonstrates good shovelling technique for loosening the roots from the sand!

Action Shots

Thank you to Ed’s Soup Shack, TruEarth, Saltspring Coffee, and Green Room Body Co for Donating In-Kind Rewards to our Hard Working Community Members!

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