Native Plant Nursery Talk/Walk by Kristen Miskelly Apr 12/13 2024

On Friday, April 12, 2024,  Kristen Miskelly gave a talk to about 50 people on native seeds and plants for gardens and restoration.

Kristen and her partner James are founders of Satinflower Nurseries, a native plant and seed nursery that set up operation in Metchosin about 18 months ago. Since its establishment in 2013, Satinflower nursery has specialized in growing native plants for southern Vancouver Island.

Kristen discussed how native seeds can be used to enhance biodiversity in natural areas and neighbourhoods. She also shared examples of Satinflower’s many projects.

Kristen and James Miskelly

Slides from Kristen’s talk

Kristen thanks the audience for their support.

Mairi MacKinnon made native plant cupcakes (delicious!) for the occasion. 

On Saturday morning, part of the audience from the previous evening gathered at Satinflower Nursery (4286 Metchosin Road) for a guided tour of the native plant facility. We learned about the whole process of product development, from harvesting seed to seed starting to plant potting. James and Kristen talked about past and upcoming changes to the 2-acre property. They also provided lots of tips for people who want to grow their own native plants.

Birds and Tech Talk and Walk by Ann Nightingale

Ann Nightingale, birder extraordinaire, joined us for a Talk and Walk on the weekend of March 23-24, 2023. She gave a talk on “Birds and Technology” on Friday night. Listeners heard all about the latest techniques used by birders to learn more about birds. 

On Saturday morning, Ann took a group of Metchosin people on a walk along the Galloping Goose. We saw or heard just over 20 species of birds. She demonstrated the use of the Merlin phone app to identify birds by sound.

SM view to ocean

Resilient Coasts for Salmon

On Feb 3-4, the Metchosin Biodiversity Project hosted its first Talk and Walk event for 2023 (#119 in the series). Kyla Sheehan and Kelly Loch from the Resilient Coasts for Salmon (RC4S) team came to tell us about coastal processes and how we could promote healthy shorelines that protect our homes and important habitat by using nature-based solutions to better adapt to sea level rise.

RC4S is a collaborative initiative and five-year project led by the Pacific Salmon Foundation with partners such as the Stewardship Centre for BC, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Peninsula Streams and Shorelines, and others.

On Friday night we learned about how the Green Shores® framework could be used to analyze how well our coasts are adapted to sea life and climate change. After the presentation, the audience watched a new 12-minute video featuring Metchosin’s own Kristen Miskelly from Satinflower Nurseries. In the video, Kristen discussed some of the native plants that can be used to restore coastal areas. You can view the video at the RC4S site.

On Saturday morning we joined Kyla and Kelly to do an inventory of the beaches off Albert Head Lagoon.

A group of Metchosin residents, including Metchosin mayor Mayor Marie-Térèse Little and a Councilor or two, paticpated in both events.

Some pictures from the event (taken by Kyla and Kelly).


Metchosin Challenge at St. Mary’s Church

St Mary’s church is again hosting the Metchosin Challenge. A challenge to the community to live in a sustainable way, respecting our environment and the people who live in it.

This year the content is particularly relevant to the work of the Metchosin Biodiversity Project and include several people who have been part of our Talk and Walk series. We thought that you might like to know more about the event.

The sessions happen at the New St Mary’s church at 7 PM on Thursdays. The speakers are for this year are:

Feb 27th Paige Erickson-McGee – Invasive plants in your Garden and how to conquer them

March 5th Rich McCue – Conserving energy One Home at a time

March 12th Claudia Copley -Wild about Gardening – How to garden to preserve native insects

March 19th – Derek Wullf – Grafting fruit trees to preserve historic genetic stock and citrus farming

March 26th — Dave Lovekin – The practicalities of renewable (solar) power

April 2nd – Fiona Hammersley Chambers -Preserving our genetic heritage by preserving Seeds

Bilston Creek Watershed T&W Event

On Valentine’s Day, 2020, a large crowd gathered in the Council Chambers of the District of Metchosin for Talk and Walk #117. It was a home-grown event, with Metchosin residents Nitya Harris and Kym Hill talking about the Bilston Creek watershed and their long involvement with the Bilston Creek Watershed Protection Association.




For the Saturday walk part of the event, Kym and Charles Hill invited everyone to their to see some restoration work on the Bilston Watershed.

Charles and Kym had some cut branches of native willows (Hooker’s willow, Salix hookeriana, and Pacific willow, Salix lucida) for people to take home.  We walked down to where Bilston Creek crossed their property. Kym showed us some of the wildlife, Charles showed us how to plant willows to stabilize the creek banks.

Hooker's willow wands

Dr. Cara Gibson talk on insects and fungi

On Nov 8, Dr. Cara Gibson kicked off the annual Metchosin MycoBlitz (the seventh annual event) with an amazing talk on the way mushrooms and insects interact.  

Insects and fungi, as Cara pointed out, are both underdescribed groups.  When you ask about the interactions between groups with question marks around them, you get even more question marks!


A packed audience turned out to hear the talk.

Participants brought in boxes of mushrooms for everyone to see. Ai Linh and Juliet were among the members of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society who turned up to hear the talk and to chat with visitors about the different kinds of mushrooms.

Dr. Gibson stayed around after the talk to field questions from members of the audience.

For more about the next day’s MycoBlitz forays, see the Metchosin Biodiversity Project’s report on bioblitz events.

Cara Gibson on Insects and Mushrooms

The seventh Metchosin MycoBlitz will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, 2019.

The MycoBlitz doubles as November’s Metchosin Talk and Walk event. Please join us Friday November 8, 2019, 7:00 pm, for a talk by Dr. Cara Gibson, an expert on the relationships between insects and fungi. The talk, as usual, will be at the Metchosin Municipal Hall Council Chambers. See the attached poster for more information on the talk.

The Saturday Walk part of the Talk and Walk will be the Metchosin MycoBlitz. The November 9 MycoBlitz will start at the parking lot of the Metchosin Municipal Hall, 4450 Happy Valley Road (just behind the Fire Hall) at 9:00 am. A number of mycology specialists will be on hand to lead us to several Metchosin locations. At these locations the experts will do field identification and collect samples of mushrooms for table display and further study. Everyone is invited to join one of these forays–the only requirement is a desire to know more about mushrooms. The more eyes on the gorund, the more mushrooms we find. (Rain or shine, so dress appropriately. Kids always welcome, but please leave Fido at home.)

The foray groups will return to the Municipal Hall by noon. At 12:10 pm, guests are invited to attend a mini-film fest at the nearly Metchosin Firehall. Bring a brown bag lunch (popcorn, coffee and tea will be provided) and eat it while you watch a Nature of Things episode on Fungi.  After the film, walk back to to the Council Chambers and see, from 2-4 pm, the immense bounty of Metchosin fungal species that the expert have laid out and labeled for our Metchosin inventory of species.

Metchosin Talk and Walk — Leah Ramsay — dragonflies — Fri, Sept 6, 2019

Our first Metchosin Talk/Walk for the 2019/2020 season is coming up on Friday, Sept 6, 2019, 7:00 pm, at the District of Metchosin Council Chambers.  Join us to hear CDC’s Leah Ramsay talk about “Damsels and Warriors: the Dragonflies of BC.”   

On Saturday, Sept 7, 10 am, Leah will join us to net and identify a few dragonflies. Metchosin location to be announced.

Next Talk and Walk: Oct 4: Metchosin’s own Anna Hall on Dolphins.