Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Programme Archive

Richard Iredale and his Dancers - May Day 2009Richard Iredale's Morris Dancers at May Day, 2009
Photo credit:Tom Hobley

The Things We Got Up To!

This page is dedicated to information about the Conservancy's events in years past and carries information about significant happenings, as well as trivia from the history of the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. Entries appear in ascending date order. This archive is searchable but at this time results are not confined to this page but cover the whole Conservancy site as well as cached instances of our pages.

Conservation Talks 2013-14 Season

Saving Seeds for the Future - Friday March 21, 2014 2:00 pm, Ag Hall

Picture of The Millennium Seed Bank Visitor Centre

This talk will outline the aims and activities of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, with detail on some of the keystone projects and research work. The presenter, Vanessa Sutcliffe, will also discuss the simple science behind drying and storing seeds, to encourage Mayne Island gardeners to save their own seeds.

Vanessa is a training specialist for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, a project of the Seed Conservation Department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK. The MSBP is conserving plant species from around the world through the storage of their seeds. Vanessa is responsible for organising and delivering training in seed conservation across the MSBP's global network.

While Vanessa is on holiday, visiting family on Mayne Island, she has agreed on very short notice to give this talk which is jointly sponsored with the Mayne Island Garden Club and the Agricultural Society.

The Spiders of British Columbia with Robb Bennett - November 16th, 2013 2:00 pm, Ag Hall

Picture of Spider on a Leaf

Join Robb Bennett from the BC Museum in the Ag Hall on Saturday Nov 16th at 2:00 for an illustrated seminar on spiders. Robb will discuss the general biology and natural history of spiders and will introduce you to a range of interesting British Columbia spiders. Attendees will also learn about the Royal BC Museum’s current research documenting the province’s spider fauna diversity.

"...spiders are ruthless storm troops in the matriarchal anarchy that is the arthropod world: theirs is the most diverse, female-dominated, entirely predatory order on the face of the earth. As such, spiders are key components of all ecosystems in which they live." - Robb began studying spiders when he was an undergraduate studying entomology at the University of Guelph in Ontario in the mid-1970's. Subsequently he earned a M. Sc. and a PhD in spider taxonomy/systematics. Since then, his interest in spiders has never waned and, today, Robb continues to collect and study spiders. His collections have been placed in relevant museums, primarily in Canada (the Canadian National Collection) and the USA (primarily the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Smithsonian Institution, and the California Academy of Sciences). He has collected in the USA and much of Canada, including the maritime provinces, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, the prairies, and Ontario.

Picture of a Gull over Water

Birds on the Move presented by Bruce Whittington - Sunday December 1st, 2013 7:30, Ag Hall

"One of the reasons we’re so aware of birds is the fact that they are so mobile, but many of these birds move on other levels we often overlook.”
Bruce is a freelance naturalist, writer and photographer. He has written extensively on birds in British Columbia with articles in BC Living and producing a weekly column "Island Birds" in Victoria's Times Colonist. With illustrator Loucas Raptis he has authored "Seasons with Birds" in which he takes the reader through a year with birds. Each month offers descriptive information about several birds, along with interesting tidbits of bird lore, including the incredible story of long-range migrations, how birds fly, their plumage changes, and the life stories of early ornithologists.

He has worked as an onboard naturalist on over 60 Alaska cruises, and has led numerous land-based birding tours. He is a founder and former Executive Director of Habitat Acquisition Trust in Victoria, a former Islands Trust Fund board member, and remains an ardent conservationist. He is presently in career number 29, working with his wife Wanda Dombrowski in her framing shop and gallery in Ladysmith.

Details of last season's conservation themed talks can be found in our Program Archive

Conservation Talks 2012-13 Season

Earth Day Poster

Celebrate Earth Day with Julie Johnston & Dr Peter Carter

Whacky Weather, Food Fragility and Compassionate Climate

Join Pender Island teacher Julie Johnston on Monday April 22nd, 7:00 pm at the Ag Hall() as she presents Mr Gore's 50 minute slide show to us on Earth Day, with discussion to follow. In this slideshow Al Gore provides evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists recently predicted. He challenges us to act.

Julie trained with Al Gore and the Climate Reality Leadertship Corps last summer. She will be joined by her husband, Dr Peter Carter, a retired physician who has studied and synthesized climate change research for over 20 years

Thursday November 8th - Caring for the Western Purple Martins presented by Herbie & Bernard Rochet - 7:30 at the Community Centre

Western Purple Martins almost disappeared from the south coast of British Columbia Martin Posterdue to losses to their preferred breeding habitat (cavities in trees) as well as competition from introduced bird species such as starlings and house sparrows. The Western Purple Martin Stewardship program was launched to try to restore and increase the breeding populations of these magnificent birds. On Mayne Island Herbie and Bernard Rochet took up the challenge in 2005 establishing artificial nest boxes in Miners Bay and Bennett Bay. As a result of their hard work, creativity and years of dedication the martins have been breeding successfully at both sites.

Come and hear about the pleasures, triumphs and sometimes the diappointments in their seven year long struggle to provide a bridgehead for this unique regional species.

Listen to the story but also think how you might help the Conservancy assume this important work, as it may be many more seasons before the population can become self-sustaining. Above all come and thank the Rochets for their remarkable work of passion and dedication in saving these birds for future generations to enjoy.

Mushroom Poster

Saturday November 3rd - Mushrooms of British Columbia with Simon Chornick - 2:00 to 4:00 at the Ag Hall

Subtitled "From the Field to the Forest" this combined talk and workshop will review the most common West Coast fungi and some of those that are not so common. Get answers to the question "Edible or not?" and if you have examples do bring them along for identification.

Simon Chornick works for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans but in his other life Simon is a vocalist and mandolin player with the Mission based group Random Dander, but more importantly from our point of view he is an accomplished photographer, particularly in the field of mushrooms & other fungi. His mycologia appear in many internet-based reference works and he hunts, paints, grows and eats mushrooms.

Happily sharing his expertise, Simon styles himself as the Fungi Ambassador

Saturday October 13 2012 - Blue Carbon, Climate and the Oceans: The Role of Nature in Regulating Climate - 7:30 pm at the Community Centre

Presented by Colin Campbell, Marine Campaign Coordinator for the Sierra Club of B.C.

Carbon stored in the natural sinks of coastal oceans is secure for millennia, and the conservation and restoration of the associated ecosystems could account for up to 10% of the emissions challenge

Dr Colin Campbell was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia where he trained in Zoology and Palaeontology, spending the late 60's and early 70's at the University of California Berkeley, acquiring his PhD. While there his environmental concerns were focussed by an academic fascination with extinction processes.

He spent the 90's at the Australian National University working with an international climate change and sea level research program in Australia, Papua New Guinea and China and worked on the identification of environmental change following the arrival of humans in Australia and the central Pacific.

He studied environmental law for two years at the Australian National University before returning to Canada in 1998, living on the Sunshine Coast, becoming the Forest Caucus Coordinator for the BC Environmental Network from 2000-2003.

In 2004 Colin was elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club of BC and later became, and still is, the Marine Campaign Coordinator at Sierra Club of BC. He is also Science Advisor to the Sierra Club of BC. Presently, his time is occupied with climate change outreach on behalf of the Sierra Club and climate change issues in the context of Marine Use Planning.

Anyone who missed the talk or wishes to revisit some of the challenging facts served up during this absorbing evening the slideshow and notes are now available on line here. We thank Colin Campbell & the Sierra Club of BC for granting permission and providing supplementary suggestions for text and

Conservation Talks 2011-12 Season

Saturday April 21 2012 - Earthquakes in Southwest British Columbia: Living on the Edge - 7:30 pm, Ag Hall

Earthquakes Poster NOTE John Cassidy was unable to be with us for this talk. Fortunately his place was taken by Dr. Garry Rogers, Senior Scientist with the earthquakes section at Natural Resources Canada.

Those of us in Southwest British Columbia are "living on the edge" of the North American tectonic plate. Here, small earthquakes occur every day, damaging earthquakes occur decades apart, and some of the world's largest earthquakes (like those in Japan, Chile, and Sumatra) occur centuries apart. In this presentation the earthquake history, hazards, earthquake research being conducted in this region, and ways to prepare for an earthquake will be presented.

Dr. John Cassidy is a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada (Sidney, BC) and Head of the Earthquake Seismology Section. He is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences where he teaches courses and supervises graduate students.He completed his B.Sc. in Honours Physics at the University of Victoria in 1982, his M.Sc. in Geophysics in 1987, and his PhD in Geophysics in 1991 at the University of British Columbia. John specialises in earthquake hazard studies in Canada, and during the past 20 years he has published more than 130 scientific and public information articles. John works closely with the engineering community and emergency management organisations that utilise the results of earthquake research, and he is extremely active in public outreach activities. John served as a member of the Canadian Association of Earthquake Engineers Reconnaissance Team that travelled through the regions of Chile that were hardest-hit by the magnitude 8.8 earthquake of 2010.

Saturday March 3 2012 - Anny Scoones: Musings on Nature, Green Space, Agriculture and Art - 7:30 at the Ag Hall

Scoones Poster On historic Glamorgan Farm in rural North Saanich, Anny and her partner raised heritage breeds of livestock such as the Naked Neck hen, the woolly Russian Curly horse, and the Gloucester Old Spot Pig. They also grew heirloom produce, flowers and fruit, practiced nature scaping, and held community events among many other projects.

The farm was established in 1870 by Richard John, a Welshman who built the huge log barns, grew oats and raised cattle on what was then over six hundred acres. Today the farm consists of eight and a half acres.

The original elegant family house with its wraparound verandah stood where the Sandown Raceway’s grandstand is now, across the road from the great red roofed barns on the hill. In 1870, the driveway to the family home came from what is now the Pat Bay Highway.

Here is Anny talking about her decision to buy the farm, dubbed "the spooky place" by her parents:

"... the desire to buy the Spooky Place overtook me...... The dogs and I turned off Glamorgan Road to walk up the driveway, full of potholes and littered with trash, towards the great, looming cross-shaped barn. The building was open to the outdoors, and a few streams of sunlight filtered through the boarded-up windows. I went up an old wooden ladder to the loft. Birds were nesting high in the red cedar rafters. As I sat there, I felt a curious energy go through me. It wasn’t the ‘sudden joy’ I’d been experiencing but a calm and good feeling coming from the barn loft itself. The barn seemed to speak to me, almost as if it were smiling."
As the author of three books, inspired by almost decade of ownership of Glamorgan Farm, and the daughter of Canadian artists, Bruno and Molly Lamb Bobak, Anny's "Musings" will surely be an entertaining and thought provoking evening

Saturday October 15, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - "Crossing the Salish Sea: Land Mammals of the Gulf Islands" with Dave Nagorsen

Small Mammals Poster

The history of the land mammal fauna of the Gulf Islands has been dynamic with a number of past extinctions and ongoing colonizations including the recent arrival of alien species. Going back to last ice-age, Dave will trace the history of the land mammals, how they managed to reach the islands, and conservation issues associated with these animals.

Dave was the mammal curator at the Royal BC Museum for many years and has written four handbooks on the province’s mammals. He has long been fascinated by island biogeography and the mammals of BC’s islands.

Saturday August 20th, Dinner Bay Park 8:30 pm - "Introduction to the Night Sky" - David Lee

Night Sky Poster David Lee is a well known amateur astronomer and an advocate of public outreach in astronomy and science. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, Victoria Centre. His photographs have been published in Sky News, Sky & Telescope and on various space related websites. He has been the website editor for the Victoria Centre and is DaveXX of the "Royal Astronomical Society of Daves".

There will be a talk and a slide presentation in the pavillionat 8:30 with hands-on stargazing theresafter.

Plan to come early! Shortly after 7:00 o'clock we will have croquet and boules sets to occupy your time while we wait for dusk - Bring a blanket and a picnic.!

Saturday April 16th, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - "Journey Below the Surface" - Doug Biffard

Below Surface Poster Join Doug Biffard for a a slide-show journey into the undersea world of British Columbia and abroad. He will offer an historical perspective about what long time divers are saying about what they see below the surface.

Doug started snorkeling when he was 4 years old with gear he borrowed form his uncle (when he wasn't looking). In 1975, Doug signed up for open water certification in Kelowna and dove Okanagan Lake from one end to the other - no not in one dive! From freshwater beginnings Doug moved on to all sorts of diving both sport and light commercial. Exotic dive trips started with a high school road trip to Powell River in 1976, then Mexico a couple of times and followed recently to Hawaii and Rarotonga. In his other life Doug is an aquatic ecologist with BC Parks.

Saturday February 12th, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - " Native Pollinating Bees and Protecting their Habitats" - Gord Hutchings

MICS Bees Poster Gord Hutchings is a Victoria native, and has lived and now owns property on Saturna Island since 1994. He worked as a field biologist for the B.C. Conservation Data Centre, the Royal BC Museum, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Yukon Territory Gov't doing field entomology collecting. His research at UVic was on the orchard mason bees and he now volunteers with several groups on Vancouver Island such as The Compost Education Centre, Swan Lake Nature Centre, and Glendale Gardens where he teaches, and holds public awareness sessions about native bee pollinators, dragonflies and other insects.

Gord promises this will be an awesome talk with lots of display materials, including cut-aways of ground nesting bees, photos of native bees, different socialities of native bee species, handouts and more.

For more info visit Gord's Website

Conservation Talks 2010

Thursday April 22nd Ag Hall 7:30 pm - Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge Poster The Lives of Seabirds off NW Vancouver Island - with Michael Dunn

A celebration of Earth Day and a presentation on the extraordinary lives of seabirds off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, one of the biodiversity hotspots for marine organisms on the Pacific coast of North America.

The number of seabird species who spend some part of their lives here is high, including the most diverse colonies found in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

This is a story of their lives, and about the trials and tribulations of living on the edge.

If you missed the talk we will present a summary of Michael's presentation here, together with links to some of the significant slides shown. Coming soon! Meantime check out a few pictures of this and other earth Week activities on our Gallery page

Saturday May 1st Ag Hall 7:30 pm - Know Your Birds - Part 2

Know Your Birds Poster The Spring and Summer Birds of Mayne Island - with Michael Dunn

This was a follow-up to the popular winter bird workshop and targeted the spring and summer birds of Mayne Island. The core of the workshop provided participants with the skills, using field markings, to identify more of the diverse bird fauna on the island. The spring and summer focuses more on our forest dwelling birds where field marks and calls are critical to their identification. A good number of beginner birders (and others) joined Michael Dunn for this engaging workshop.

Illustrations of some of the raptors, sparrows, flycatchers and others discussed during the evening's slide show and Q&A session will appear here in a few days. Check back later!

Saturday August 14th, Dinner Bay Park 7:30 pm - "The Fire Management Paradox: Balancing Re-growth and Risk in Canada's National Parks"

The Fire Management Paradox Poster Rob Walker will talk about the paradox inherent in trying to manage forest fires in protected areas and how Parks Canada tries to overcome it. I will use examples from two very different ecosystems, Garry Oak ecosystems, found locally, and Whitebark Pine ecosystems, found at treeline through portions of the Western Cordillera, to illustrate our approach. We will explore their status, ecology. fire regimes, cultural connections and the fire management approaches that Parks Canada, and others, are taking to sustain them.

Rob worked in fire management in national parks in the Aspen Parkland and Rocky Mountains for 12 years before moving to Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in 2004. During his time in the Rockies, he managed the fire management program for 2.5 national parks totalling 6,000km2. Rob originally came to Gulf Islands as the Fire & Vegetation Specialist and has since become the Manager of Resource Conservation.

Rob has extensive experience in fire suppression and in the use of fire to achieve ecological objectives. He has been a member of a Parks Canada National Incident Management Team for 17 years. Rob earned a BSc in Ecology from the University of Calgary and has been actively involved in research including reconstructing paleoecological fire and disturbance regimes, quantifying prescribed fire effects, whitebark pine conservation and wildfire risk assessment.

In April, some Mayne Island land owners attended a workshop we presented on the Stewardship of Sensitive Ecosystems. That initial workshop was put on in response to the recent Sensitive Ecosystem Mapping and a letter sent to some of you by the Islands Trust in late 2009 detailing one or more sensitive ecosystems that might have been identified on your property. By request we are now offering a follow-up workshop on Conservation Covenants which you are invited to attend. It will take place Saturday October 30 at the Agricultural Hall from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch will be available.

A conservation covenant is a legal agreement between a landowner and authorized land trusts (usually two). This legal agreement remains attached to the title of the lands in perpetuity, and defines allowable and restricted uses for the property. Land donations and land purchases are other ways of protecting private land in BC.

The first part of the workshop will focus on stories from and about landowners who have placed conservation covenants on all or part of their property. Sylvia Pincott from Pender Island will talk about the NAPTEP covenant she has placed on her land and Rose Longini will tell her stories of the working landscape covenant on her Galiano property. Short case studies from a DVD called People Protecting Places made by the Land Trust Alliance of B.C. (LTABC) will broaden the picture of possibilities. Following lunch, Kate Emmings, Ecosystems Protection Specialist with the Islands Trust Fund, will talk about the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) and Adam Taylor, Executive Director of Habitat Acquisiton Trust (HAT), will address other covenanting possibilities including steps to be taken towards achieving a conservation covenant. If time permits, there will be an introduction to the EcoGift program.

We hope you will consider joining us for this informative workshop. If you should have questions please do not hesitate to contact Helen O'Brian, MICS, or planner Alison Fox, Islands Trust. If you are planning to attend please RSVP Helen so that we can better arrange lunch.

Contact Info: Helen O'Brian [250-539-5619 or 250-405-5194]    Alison Fox

Field Trips 2013

Astronomy in the Park

Saturday August 11th 8:30 - Mayne School Grounds N.B Venue change!)

Join Bruce Lane, @quarky_hiker) for an introductory lecture in the Gazebo, followed by the guided viewing of the night sky through a telecope or two

If you own a telescope bring it along, together with blankets, tea and any other sustenance that you might need. Please, red filtered flashlights only during the observing session

Bruce is the resident amateur astronomer and nature enthusiast at He is a member of the Victoria chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and enjoys introducing the public to sky watching at star parties and special events. Bruce is also an avid hiker and photographer

Oceans Day 2013 on Mayne

Sunday June 8 - at Miners Bay

Join MICS on June 8th as we celebrate World Oceans Day! Proposed by the government of Canada at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, June 8th has been declared “World Oceans Day,” and is celebrated annually around the globe. This day offers the chance for people to explore, learn and celebrate our connections to the oceans. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Mayne Island Community Oceans Day. Open to all ages!

Objectives of World Oceans Day

  • Change attitudes — encourage individuals to think about what the oceans mean to each of us, and what oceans have to offer.
  • Learn — discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful creatures and habitats found in the oceans, and how our actions affect them.
  • Change our ways — encourage each of us to become caretakers of our oceans, and to conserve them for our future.
  • Celebrate — organize or participate in ocean events.

Local tide conditions on the 8th are favourable this year we will be doing "Ocean's Day" on the day chosen for international celebrations. The theme of World Ocean's Day this year is "Wear Blue, Tell two (friends)!" Children of all ages and interested adults are welcome join us from midday to mid-afternoon.

Each station will run at set times but may change depending on numbers of folks attending etc. Meet at the gazebo in Miners Bay Community Park.
  • 12:00-12:45 approx - BEACH SEINE: We will explore the intertidal zone of Miners Bay with Michael Dunn & MICS Staff and look for creatures that call our eelgrass beds home.
  • 1:00-2:00 or so - UNDER THE SEA: Scuba Divers collect weird and wonderful sub-tidal sea creatures for viewing in our aquariums on Miners Bay dock.
  • 2:00-3:00 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Peer below the waves with aqua scopes and glimpse the underwater communities of the dock. Microscopes will be set up on the Community Dock to view the ocean's tiniest, and most important, creatures
Bring your curiosity and a lunch and join us at the beach on the eighth!

In addition this years event will include a jellyfish making craft and watershed model demonstration. NEW this year are ocean displays from local organizations such as the Galiano Conservancy Association, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC, and the Georgia Strait Alliance.

Field Trips 2012

Sunday June 3rd 2012 Oceans Day, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Miners Bay

Sunday June 3 - at Miners Bay

Local tide conditions indicate that we do Ocean's Day here according to our schedule, and June 3 is it this year. The theme of World Ocean's Day on June 8th this year is "Youth: the Next Wave for Change." Children of all ages and interested adults are welcome join us from mid morning to early afternoon.

Each station will run at set times but may change depending on numbers of folks attending etc. Meet at the gazebo in Miners Bay Community Park.
  • 1015 approx - We will explore the intertidal zone of Miners Bay with Michael Dunn which might include fossil finding.
  • 1130 or so - Out on the dock with Leanna Boyer looking at plankton and other marine organisms around the dock structures.
  • 1 pm or thereabouts - We will pull in the beach seine and discover marine organisms that are found in eelgrass beds. An aquarium will be set up for close up observations.
  • Bring your curiosity and a lunch and join us at the beach on the third!.

If we have large numbers we will do the first two as rotations where half the folks go with Leanna out on the dock and the other half go with Michael, and then round switch at about 1130. The beach seine will be done for all at or near to the time set.

An article about Oceans Day on Mayne by Jessica Easton, with some of Toby Snelgrove's photos appears in the June issue of Aqua - find it here & scroll to page 38 et seq.

Field Trips 2011

Sunday July 3rd 2011 Oceans Day, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Piggott Bay

World Ocean's Day was on June 8th in 2011 however the state of the tides in our region meant that we could not undertake our usual educatiional activities at a convenient time of day. The following is an excerpt from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada page that sets out the aims of the day:

  • Change attitudes — encourage individuals to think about what the oceans mean to each of us, and what oceans have to offer
  • Learn — discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful creatures and habitats found in the oceans, and how our actions affect them
  • .
  • Change our ways — encourage each of us to become caretakers of our oceans, and to conserve them for our future
  • Celebrate — organize or participate in ocean events, whether we live inland or on the coast

Oceans Day at Piggott Bay:Join Leanna and Michael for beach exploration, beach seine and plankton tow. Discover the fish that live in the eelgrass bed as the seine net is pulled in. Observe microscopic plankton through a microscope and explore the sand, mud and rocks where the adult versions of zooplankton live!

Be prepared to get your feet wet and don’t forget sunscreen!

... After the event
On July 3rd the Conservancy celebrated Oceans Day with the Mayne Island community. Sixty-seven people gathered at Piggott Bay and discovered fascinating creatures on the rocks, wading in shallows and observing the results of a beach seine (even an eel-like fish called high cockscomb). Low tide exposes creatures you wouldn’t normally find, like the porcelain crab and colourful chitons (a participant found one that was brilliant blue and rimmed with orange! ). It was a glorious day and a great way to celebrate our ocean!

An Image gallery by Toby Snelgrove can be found in the Directory of Mayne Island Events at Toby's new web site

Sunday Walkabouts 2011

Photo credits: Toby Snelgrove

The Conservancy announces a series of Sunday Morning Walkabouts to take place on the morning after our bi-weekly attendance at the Farmers Market (go here for the summer 2011 schedule)

The first of the series will be a hike up the Vulture Ridge Trail to a fabulous view point in Henderson Hill Community Park led by Peter Askin of Mayne Island Parks and Rec. Meet at 10:00 am June 19th in the parking lot beyond cul de sac turnaround at the end of Beechwood Drive. The trail is 1.1 km and is rated by "Parks" as difficult. Bring good footwear and water

July 17th - Birders' Ramble with Michael Dunn. Michael will be at the Farmers Market on the 16th with a number birding resources on hand to provide access to avian info of all kinds & to talk about the next days's field trip.

Michael plans to start the walk at the junction of Dalton and Merryman - meet at 10:00 am.

July 31 - Helen O'Brian - Punch's Alley to the Sea. Meet at Punch's Alley near the end of Simpson Road at 10am. Note that parking is very limited so it is best to park on Gallagher Bay Road and enjoy the pastoral walk down Simpson. Bring water and a snack to enjoy on the beach - long pants suggested and sensible footwear advised!

Aug 14 - Betty Ann Graves - The Three Trails of Edith Point. The hikers can observe how different each trail is in a relatively small area. Meet at the end of Edith Point Road at 10am. Hiking shoes/walking shoes needed. Binoculars a good idea. It will be a 5 km hike to do the 3 trails, plus a return trip to the starting point.

August 21       The Community Gardens with Steve Cropper - Want to know more about this greenest of green projects? Meet at the Community Centre at 10:00 am for a Tour & Talk

Toby Snelgrove's Pot Goddess Poster here

Coming Sunday Walkabout destinations:

  • August 21       Steve Cropper - Community Gardens
Further Details T.B.A.

Field Trips 2010

Sunday June 13, Oceans Day - 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Piggott Bay

Come celebrate Oceans Day at Piggott Bay. We are celebrating Oceans Day on June 13 this year because the tide is nice and low. Join biologists Michael Dunn, Leanna Boyer and Miriam Isaac-Renton for beach explorations, fish print making and live aquarium. Find out what kinds of fish live in the eelgrass bed with a beach seine led by Michael.

Saturday Aug 14th, Henderson Hill Community Park 2:00 pm - Walk and Talk with Tsartlip Educator and Historian John Elliott

The Fire Management Paradox Poster

John Elliott is an educator, historian and member of the Tsartlip First Nation, part of the Saanich People, whose territory is centered on the Saanich Peninsula and the Southern Gulf Islands. He is Chairman of the Saanich Native Heritage Society, and language and culture teacher at the LAU,WELNEW Tribal School. This event will be an opportunity for Mayne Island residents and visitors to learn about the indigenous history and cultural heritage of this area, and the relationship of the Tsartlip to these islands.

Meet at the Trailhead at the end of the dirt road. Bring water, sunscreen and adequate footwear for trail walking.

Sunday September 5th, "Maynely up" - A CRD Sponsored Walking Tour of Mt. Parke with the Conservancy's Michael Dunn

Join the CRD Regional Parks guest naturalist Michael Dunn to explore hidden treasures on the way to the summit. Bring a snack and water and wear sturdy shoes. The views are the best in the Gulf Islands. Meet at the Kim Road access at 1:00 in the afternoon.

The CRD classifies this event as a longer hike, having fewer interpretive stops. Trails may be uneven with steep sections. 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | All ages

To view the full CRD Nature Walks calendar, click here

Saturday April 28 - Edible Spring: a Native Plant Walk and Workshop with Jenna Rudolph - 11am to 3 pm at Hatake

Edible Poster Come for an instructive walk followed by a wild, harvested salad and learn how to make a medicinal vinegar. We will learn the edible, medicinal and traditional uses of the plants, techniques for identification and how to recognize different families. What plant can you use if you get stung by a bee? What is our local source of Vitamin C? What local plant makes the strongest fiber?

Pre-registration is requested due to limited space - Call 250-539-5168 - $10.00
Hatake can be found at 622 Gallagher Bay Road

Bring a sandwich to accompany the wild salad and a quart jar for your medicinal vinegar. For information on Jenna and her work check out her Eagle Awareness site

Workshops 2014

Invasive Plant Management Sunday April 13th, 2014 12:30 to 2:30 pm - Ag Hall: Admission by Donation

Please join us to learn how to manage invasive plant species on Mayne Island. We will use hands-on examples to demonstrate the best management practices for controlling and eradicating invasive plant species. We will focus on species such as: Scotch broom, daphne, Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, St. John’s wort, holly, and bull thistle. Specific questions welcomed!

Following the workshop, there will be a broom removal event at Henderson Park from 3:30 - 5:30pm for anyone who wants to practice their recently learned techniques.

Invasive species are considered the third largest threat to local ecosystems after habitat loss and deer overpopulation. Managing these unwelcome arrivals can help increase the health of our native species, reduce the risk of fire, and increase property values. Learning the best techniques and having a well thought out management plan will ensure your efforts to not go to waste.

Plant Propagation Workshop Saturday February 1st, 2014 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm - Ag Hall

This event is co-sponsored by The Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society. The workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to gardening with native plants found locally on Mayne Island. After a short introduction by Biologist Rob Underhill, participants will be led through five hands-on stations. The five stations will include:

  • Soils and the use of mycorrhizae (beneficial fungi)
  • Deer fence solutions and resistant plant recommendations
  • Introduction to root cuttings
  • Introduction to hardwood cuttings
  • Growing arbutus and Garry oak
Tea/coffee and muffins will be provided. Make sure you sign up early to secure a spot, this workshop requires pre-registration on a first come basis (capacity = 25). Cost is by donation. Contact Rob Underhill to sign up: or phone 250-539-5168.

Looking back on the event Rob Underhill wrote: Photo of Ag Hall all set up

"Last Saturday the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society hosted 26 people for a hands-on native plant propagation workshop. People rotated through five hands on stations led by volunteers and MICS staff. A great time was had by all, and participants left with cuttings or seeds from five species of native plant including: arbutus, snowberry, oceanspray, evergreen huckleberry, and vanilla leaf. A special thanks to those who brought home baked muffins to make our mid-workshop snack break a tasty one!"

To the right Exhibit Tables - check, Chairs - check, Lights - check, Projector - check! Action ... and no more camera or at least time to open the shutter!

People who attended or, of course anyone else who might be interested, can read the station notes that were presented at the workshop, or save them for future reference - links appear below:

Seedy Saturday February 8th, 2014 2:00pm to 4:00pm - Ag Hall

This event is co-sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society.

We hope this will become a popular annual event on Mayne Island. Everyone is welcome to come and bring seeds, bulbs, tubers, divisions, etc. for trade or to give away.

Some seeds may also be available for sale. So whether you have a favorite tomato variety to trade, extra wildflower seeds to share, or are looking for something new for your garden, come on down and enjoy the fun!

Growing Native Wild Flowers from Seed Wednesday February 19th, 2014 2:00pm to 4:00pm - Ag Hall

This event is co-sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society.

Biologist Rob Underhill will be presenting on how to grow native plants from seed; including collection, storage, stratification, and sowing.

We are lucky to live in a part of the world with such a large selection of stunning wildflowers, learn what species are available and how to incorporate them into your home garden. Everyone welcome!

Mayne Island Garden Club membership renewal will be available.

Workshops 2013

Live Staking Workshop 10:00 - 1:00 pm Friday March 15th 2013

This is a free workshop to teach the plant propagation method of live staking. This method involves taking hardwood cuttings and sticking them directly on-site. This workshop will have a strong hands-on focus as we will be performing a large live-staking project as a group during the workshop. The plant species we will be using is pink spiraea.

We will meet at 10am at 270 Georgina Point Rd. The workshop will run for approximately 2-3 hours. We will supply gloves and tools but please make sure to bring footwear and clothing suitable to the weather as we will be outside the entire time.

Please let me know if you plan to attend so I can make sure to have the right amount of tools and information handouts.

Saturday March 2nd 2013, 1:00-4:00 pm Ag Hall - Coastal Communities: Adapting to Climate Change & Rising Sea Levels

Presented by Grant Lamont P.Eng

Grant is a senior coastal and metocean engineer with SNC-Lavalin who has worked on projects ranging from large harbour developments to small shoreline restorations. His experience includes construction supervision, managing field data collections, and the application of both physical and numerical models. His physical modelling work includes ship motion studies, breakwater stability, shoreline revetments, and sediment transport modelling.

Mr. Lamont has been involved in projects in Canada, USA (Washington, Oregon, New York, Louisiana, Michigan), Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Panama, Australia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. He will discuss innovative approaches to adapting to sea level rise that work with nature.

An update on MICS shoreline work and a short field trip to Miners Bay beach will round off the workshop.

Tickets at the door: $10.00 includes refreshments - Please RSVP Email: Phone:250-539-5168

Saturday February 23rd 2013, 12:00-3:00 pm Mayne School - Mason Bee Talk & Box Building Workshop

The Conservancy hosts Gord Hutchings who will be giving a talk on native bees, and a box making workshop. Box making will involve the construction of 3-tiered condos for native cavity-nesting bees. Gord is an entomologist who has been studying insects for several decades, and is a recognized expert on native pollinators. He has given numerous workshops on this topic and is dedicated to spreading education about our native bees, their habitat needs, and their importance in matters of food security.

The workshop will begin at 12:00 pm at the Mayne School, with an hour talk followed by a half hour lunch break (a light lunch will be provided). After lunch, box building will begin and will go to around 3:30pm. The cost will be $20 to cover material expenses and food. Please RSVP for this event either by email or phone 250-539-5168. Book early - space may be limited!

Workshops 2012

Saturday March 24 2012 - Invasive Plant Management - 3:30pm to 5pm at the Ag Hall

Invasives Poster The Conservancy will be hosting this workshop at the Agricultural Hall. It is being offered as a follow-up to the presentation by Jennifer Grenz from the Invasive Plant Council of Metro Vancouver a few weeks ago. The upcoming workshop will focus specifically on methods for identifying and managing invasive species present on Mayne Island..

We will have samples on hand to demonstrate identification characteristics and proper cutting techniques. We will describe best known practices for each species including long term management, preventing re-introduction, and when herbicide is an appropriate tool to use. The key to managing invasive plant species is learning about how each species grows and reproduces, and using that knowledge to identify efficient methods for management.

We will be focusing on Daphne, Ivy, Holly, Scotch Broom, Periwinkle, St. John's Wort, Blackberry, Bull Thistle, and Giant Hogweed. Please bring a notebook and pen/pencil. A digital camera may also be useful for remembering how to identify the different species.

Native Plant Propagation Workshop Report

On Saturday, February 11th, 2012 the Mayne Island Conservancy Society hosted 24 community members for an afternoon of hands on learning. Workshop participants worked their way through five stations covering native plant propagation by a variety of techniques including starting seeds, taking cuttings, and making moss slurry. Everyone had a great time and gained a lot of knowledge with presenters and participants learning from each other and sharing stories of success, failure, and hope. Each participant left with their own native plant cuttings and seeds. The event would not have been possible without the generous donation of time and expertise from the station leaders: Michael Dunn, Helen O’Brian, Trish Hoff, and Lauren Hobson.

We hope that native plant gardening continues to gain popularity within the community, and that community members continue to share the stories of success (and failure) of their propagation adventures. If you missed or could not attend the event but would like to learn more about gardening with native plants please let the conservancy know and they just might organize another workshop!

Toby Snelgrove was on hand, and took some pictures:

MICS staff member Rob Underhill shows workshop participants arbutus seeds that germinated after spending 43 days in the fridge; an example of artificial cold stratificationStation leader Trish Hoff demonstrates the art of making moss slurry while in the background Michael Dunn shows how easy it is to propagate broad leaved stone-crop from cutting.More moss madness, these diminutive organisms are fascinating once you get to know them!

For more shots of this event go to Toby's SmugMug site

Here are the resource materials (.pdf format) for each station:

Workshops 2010

Sunday October 24th, Ag Hall 1:00 to 3:00 pm - " Get to Know your Grasses"

The Grass ID Poster Presented by Miriam Isaac-Renton, this summer's MICS intern working with distinction in our Shoreline Care project. A long time visitor to Mayne Island, Miriam studied Natural Resources Conservation at UBC and conducted independent research for use in presentations as a Coastal Naturalist aboard BC Ferries. She has also contributed to a scientific paper regarding the flora and fauna of Southwestern BC and acted as a research assistant in targeted studies in the Strait of Georgia.

Bring samples of grasses you want to identify. Participants will receive a “cheat sheet” for identifying the most common native and non-native grasses.

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