I am pleased to hear that volunteers of the Friends of Uplands Park are busy pulling out invasive species such as Scotch Broom and Daphne. The Friends movement to protect our local parks is wide-reaching and my hat is off to them for helping municipalities to wage the war against invasive plant species.
As a former “friend” of both John Dean and Dominion Brooke Parks on the Saanich Peninsula, I recognize how much municipalities depend on the hard work and commitment of volunteers to help look after community parks and green spaces.
I know that Oak Bay encourages and supports park stewardship through volunteers and through the very effective Oak Bay Parks and Recreation Commission. As well, the CRD has just completed a workshop series on “How to Grow a Native Plant Garden,” demonstrating the strength of local and regional partnerships.
I understand that the application of native plants for the home garden accomplishes two important goals:
- Many native plants are drought resistant, thereby reducing garden water consumption.
- Native plants don’t need the same cosmetic fertilizers/chemicals to help them grow, thereby reducing the use of cosmetic garden substances.
Finally, I am convinced that the “Friends” network that reaches into many local communities and its volunteer army are undeniably one of the most effective “on the ground” organizations for environmental protection and conservation.