I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Holly Work Party

I made it to the work party at Mt. Doug today!  While I did pull a few pieces of English Ivy our mission today was actually to remove Holly.  There were four people to start, and the numbers grew to a whopping six before we were finished.  I was provided with some handy gardening tools and offered a pair of gloves, which I probably should have taken, and I worked a little section on my own moving from one holly plant to another.  It was not hard to find the next one given that most of the plants seem to be runners from a larger "mother-ship".  I did not ask how many hours the little crew has spent in that area but, as you can see by the snarled mass in the centre of the picture, they have a pretty good pile going.  

What you see in the picture is only a portion of what has been pulled. One of the jobs is to drag this heap up to the side of Churchill Drive and add it to the substantial pile already there.  It will be picked up by a Saanich Works crew and taken away to be composted.  Since it is an invasive species it is composted at a high heat to ensure that nothing survives to be unwittingly spread to other areas.

I have scratches on my wrists where my gloves did not quite cover and I was stabbed in the ass multiple times by rogue holly leaves, but I spent two hours this morning quite happily pulling the beastly stuff.  When we finished at noon I hopped in my vehicle and had a smile on my face all the way home.  It is one thing to walk through the park, see what needs to be done, and hope someone else gets around to it.  Is is another thing entirely, and much more satisfying, to be part of the group that actually gets to it and makes a difference.

Given that the current size of Mt. Doug park is approximately 182 hectares (450 acres) more hands would be greatly appreciated.  The group I met today was very friendly and welcoming.  For anyone who is interested you can check out the January schedule posted on their website.  I will be back there next Thursday for another round with the Holly.

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