Besides our effort at tracking pollinator habitat through our Pollinator Paradise Map, and our iNaturalist Mid Vancouver Island Pollinator project pollinator census project, we want to showcase all the other work being done for pollinators in our region. There are many important community and stakeholder-based projects that aim to improve pollinator habitat. This page is meant to showcase these projects and keep people updated on planned work, project successes and/ or research findings!
Is your group currently working on a project, or have you recently completed a project? Please let us know about it, so we can showcase your hard work! Email email@example.com
Bowen Park Meadow Project
This project is spearheaded by NALT and supported by the City of Nanaimo, as we work to restore a meadow nearby the lower picnic site in this much-loved municipal park. This project is being carried out by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Keep an eye out for our signage at the project site!
The objective is to restore this Garry Oak meadow’s diversity and abundance of native flowers. A few mistimed runs with the mower in 2020 have reduced native flowers and increased non-native species in this meadow. Our project will document native species present, do a simple study to track species frequency along three transects, and follow each flowers seasonal changes from budding, to blooming and setting seed.
We are looking forward to sharing our findings as the seasons progress, and coming up with a restoration plan with local Garry Oak meadow expert Kristen Miskelly.
Linley Valley Cottle Lake Meadow restoration
NALT received a Public Conservation Assistance Fund grant from Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in 2022 to restore one of the meadows at Cottle Lake in Linley Valley. With our partners in the City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Culture department we planted over 1600 individual native flowering plants in a 400 square meter area.
Meadow restoration is expensive and time consuming! Often, the first challenge is to remove existing non-native vegetation and the seed bed. This can require either scraping away the plants and top soil with a machine and replacing it with new soil, solarizing the site with black plastic for a year or longer, or laying carboard and soil over top of existing vegetation. For this project we decided to do none of these options, owing to difficulties with access and the cost to restore such a large site amongst other factors. Our restoration specialist instead recommended interplanting vigorous native plant species amongst the existing non-native grasses. We will return to the site in the spring and summer to maintain it as best we can, and track our planting success. We’ll keep you posted on how things go; if there is moderate success it might be a new approach that can be used in similar situations when the usual restoration methods aren’t possible!
We also intend to track pollinator presence in the meadow as part of this project. If you would like to participate in a pollinator census in 2023, please contact us!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who have come out to help us get 1600 plants into the ground: Ms. Thompson’s Grade 7 Class from Departure Bay Elementary, Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, and our always dependable NALT Volunteers.
Plant list of species selected by Kristen Miskelly from Satinflower Nurseries for this restoration project:
- Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
- Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
- Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium (Fireweed)
- Fragaria virginiana (Wild Strawberry)
- Geum macrophyllum (Large-leaved Avens)
- Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata (Self-heal)
- Ranunculus occidentalis (Western Buttercup)
- Solidago lepida (Canada Goldenrod)
- Stachys chamissonis (Hedge-Nettle)
- Symphyotrichum chilense (California Aster)
- Triteleia hyacinthina (Fool’s Onion)
- Grindelia Integrifolia (Entire-leaved Gumweed)
- Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle)
- Hordeum brachyantherum (Meadow Barley)
- Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted Hairgrass)
Seed Starting Workshop
Saturday November 05 2022 10:00am – 12:00pm
NALT hosted a workshop on growing native plants for pollinators from seed. This well-attended event was held at VIU and was taught by Dr. Caroline Josefsson, a biology professor at VIU. Participants learned tips and tricks for getting seeds started, as well as a short presentation on pollinators in our area that visit the species we might choose to seed.
We hope to host another event like this in Fall of 2023, so let us know if you are interested!