Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Volunteer Opportunities

  • A volunteer clears broom from a an elevated section of Henderson Hill
  • Seedlings & well developed native plants at our nursery Native Plant Propagation
    Opportunities to help out at our Native Plant nursery - in the yard & the greenhouse.
  • Photo of apneists between dives
  • The restoration team ready to tackle planting in Bennett Bay
  • Photo of a newly banded purple martin chick

Volunteers are Key With only a very small number of part time staff the success of many projects depends on the enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers. From native plant propagation to the removal of invasive species, from surveys below the tideline to kayaking with "free divers," from beach clean-up to shorebird monitoring, both residents and visitors can assist the Conservancy in the execution of its mission.

Some calls for assistance are ongoing & open ended while others are concerned with a non-recurring task that can be pursued to completion. Notices of these activities will appear below. An accounting of the "Volunteer Experience" in 2012-13 was presented to the AGM & is recapped on this page

Spring 2016

Report from Volunteer Deb Foote on Facebook:
"Productive day working with a group of 11 volunteers and the Conservancy's Biologist, Rob Underhill along with 7 people from Parks Canada we fenced a 40 by 6 metre strip of land along the foreshore, cleared away invasive plants and planted over 100 (at best guesstimate) native plants from the Conservancy's own native plant nursery.

Restoring and preserving precious shoreline ecosystems - Very rewarding work!"

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have a little time this Summer and want to get involved in conservation & have some fun? Why not become a volunteer with the Conservancy? You will love the experience!

Approximate Timetable for 2015

  • Late April to May – Sign Installation
    We will have signage to install as part of our Anchor Out for Eelgrass project. Dates will be determined when the signs are finished! If you have some technical skills and own a level, you’ve got what it takes.
  • May 23rd-24th Kayakers needed
    Join divers from the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club in Horton Bay for our annual eelgrass survey. We need volunteer kayakers to team up with divers for about 3 hours on each day, 1:30-3:30pm on Saturday and 9am-12pm on Sunday. Lunch will be provided on Sunday. No experience necessary, training will be provided. MICS has been monitoring eelgrass since 2008.
  • May-October – Gardeners Needed
    We will be designing and installing a native plant demonstration garden at the Root Seller. We are looking for volunteers to help construct, plant, water, and weed the garden.
  • August 8th-16th – Kayakers Needed
    This is another opportunity to get out in your kayak, this time to map bull kelp. Join us for our 6th year of monitoring kelp forests! We will be on the water for 6 days between August 8th and 16th for 2 hours each day. These surveys are suitable for experienced kayakers only. GPS training will be provided.
  • Ongoing – Everyone Needed
    We are calling for ecosystem restoration volunteers at Henderson Park. Contact us to get added to our email list for event notifications. The activities are primarily broom removal and tree protector installation and maintenance. This is a fun project and a beautiful community park, come join us!
  • Ongoing – Find Your Own Role
    If you have a particular skill you think would be useful to MICS and are willing to donate your time please give us a call. We can always use help with a wide range of activities including: poster creation, event planning and promotion, IT troubleshooting, nature interpretation, native plant propagation, taking memberships at events, helping set up at evening programs etc.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact us at 250-539-5168 or mail

Beach Cleanup

The Annual Beach Cleanup, co-sponsored with the Mayne Island Recycling Society will be on Sunday April 27th - the tides will be right at 10:30 am. Contact information and amazing stats on what has been collected in years past here.

Eelgrass Monitoring

Photo of Eelgrass Survey Volunteers Pictured at the right: Volunteers work a transect line mapping eelgrass density
Photo credit:Leanna Boyer

On June 7th & 8th 2014 the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club will be with us again for their (6th consecutive annual) season's visit. This year they will assist with monitoring the extent and health of the eelgrass beds in Miners Bay. There will be volunteer opportunities for kayakers to work in teams with the divers. To see what was involved in this activity have a look at the video on the Eelgrass page. Briefly, a team of 2 divers and a kayaker find the edge of the bed and map it. It is great fun and training is available.

Last year we were delighted to have had the assistance several volunteers who helped with the mapping process in Gallagher Bay, both in kayaks and on the shore. As well, a cook team helped sustain our diving visitors over the two day period. People who would like join (and/or feed!) the divers this coming June are invited to get in touch with Leanna Boyer. If you are "uncommitted" in early June and will be on Mayne Island at that time and want to help with this really valuable work, mark your calendars & sign up!

Restoration Volunteers

Early Detection Rapid Response

This resource efficient management style focuses on detecting invasive species introductions quickly and applying management action while the extent of the spread is small. Some invasive species such as giant hogweed, gorse, and Japanese knotweed represent a danger to public health, park access, and infrastructure. Due to the island nature of Mayne and the small number of infestations, these species have been selected for eradication from the island before they spread. If you see these species, or wish to participate in helping to detect/prevent these species, please contact Lauren Underhill at or phone 250-539-5168.

MICS has also recently entered into a collaboration with the Capital Regional District to enact early detection rapid response within Mt. Parke Park. This includes broom removal at the park and we are looking for volunteers to help us with this task. If you wish to volunteer for these events, or want to learn more, please contact Rob Underhill at or phone 250-539-5168.

The newly planted areas on Bennett Bay (see below) are being inspected regularly by our staff. The object is to catch incipient invasives before they take hold. We will be happy to welcome our volunteers to help us with our control measures in this area as well. Announcements will be made here, on social media ( Facebook & Twitter ) and by direct mail from time to time.

Broom Removal

Photograph taken from Halliday Ridge

Mt. Parke is being invaded! Daphne, Holly, and Ivy are making their way into the shaded forest and Scotch broom is gaining a foothold on the Halliday Ridge. A little work now will prevent these invasive plants from degrading this high value recreation area. Please contact Rob Underhill at 539-5168 to find out how you can help protect this valuable Mayne Island resource. As a consequence the next ecosystem restoration effort will be on Mt. Parke on Thursday, February 13th. Here is Rob's announcement that will be appearing in our social media channels soon:

  • Event name: Ecosystem Restoration @ Halliday Ridge
  • Where: Meet at the top end of Kim Rd
  • When: 2:00 pm Feb 13th, 2014
MICS is seeking new volunteers to assist with removing Scotch broom from Mt. Parke at the top of Halliday Ridge. Anyone who enjoys the open trail on the ridge should consider lending a hand to keep the broom from becoming a problem like it has in other places. A little work now will save a ton of work later! This will be our first event to start managing the broom on the ridge. We plan to organize additional events to remove the daphne and holly that are starting to grow within the forested lower slopes of the park. Please RSVP to Rob Underhill 250-539-5168 or at

The Halliday Ridge view photo is used courtesy of jagphotography & John Greaves: click the image to see it full screen

Next Event!

Henderson Park

Wednesday, October 8th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and Thursday, October 23rd also from 2:00 – 4:00 pm  Rob Underhill writes:

We have had great turn-outs this summer, 25 different volunteers contributing 60 hours (with staff turning in a hundred hours) of restoration work, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone this month. Over the summer I bought some new tools including gloves, loppers, hand pruners, hand saws, and another axe so lets get out and dull those factory edges! Mark your calendars for our October events.

Please indicate your interest in joining the team or, if returning, RSVP to Rob at Pictured at right - browse protection cages being set in cooler times.

Native Plant Propagation

We are seeking motivated individuals to help with our native plant propagation operations on occasion. This includes starting seeds and cuttings, and re-potting existing plants. If you are interested in learning more about native plant propagation let us know ( and we will keep you informed of volunteer opportunities as they arise.

Bull Kelp Monitoring

In August there will be a need for volunteer kayakers to help with mapping bull kelp. Call Leanna at 250.539.5168 or email

Purple Martin Restoration

Under the auspices of the Georgia Basin Ecological & Restoration Society Herbie & Bernard Rochet have been instrumental in the return to Mayne Island of the Purple Martins. Their talk in November (2012) which gave a history of their efforts, was the occasion for the Conservancy to take on the primary responsibility for "Purple Martin Restoration" on the island. As a result some directors of MICS and others present have committed to the program.

However the tasks of nest box mounting, detailed monitoring, record keeping, scheduling of banding and the winter dismounting and cleaning of boxes would benefit from a large pool of volunteers. The Rochets, the Conservancy and/or GBEARS will offer orientation and training as appropriate in the various tasks. People interested in the long term viability of this once "at risk" listed species should contact Michael Dunn by email, or phone 5745 to get involved in the program.

More informaion on how Bernard & Herbie have overseen the recovery of the west's largest swallow is available on our Birding page.

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Last modified: March 23 2016 01:57:08.