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

Andrew Simon — Backyard Biodiversity and iNaturalist + Bioblitz– May 10/11

You’ve heard about the Metchosin bioblizes. Metchosin, however, is not alone in its desire to catalogue and track the species that make their homes in our public and private spaces. Other fascinating  biological inventories have been happening around the Salish Sea. Join us on Friday, May 10, to hear Andrew Simon, one of the key players in these wider initiatives,  talk about citizen science and local biodiversity. See poster below. 

Andrew has been spearheading an effort to employ the iNaturalist software on smartphones to do biologica inventories, so his talk will be followed by a walk on Saturday that will be an iNaturalist bioblitz of the Metchosin Wilderness Park. By using the iNaturalist software, amateur naturalists can make their own contributions to the Mechosin inventory efforts. We need a lot more people in the field making observations, getting GPS locations, and taking pictures our local species, and the iNaturalist software offers a way to reach this goal. Also, some Metchosin people have better access to private lands–perhaps your own properties–than the Metchosin bioblitz planners do.

From 4:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday, before Andrew’s talk, we will have an iNaturalist training session to show people how to install and use the iNaturalist software tool on their smartphones and tablets. If you would like to join this training session, register with us at this email address. Location to be announced.

At the Saturday, May 11, bioblitz, everyone is welcome, whether you are using the iNaturalist software or not. We will start at 10:00 am in front of the Metchosin District Offices, where we will divide into teams and finalize our survey plans. We are planning to be in the field from 10 am to 2 or 3 pm. You are welcome to stay the whole time (bring a lunch!) or leave whenever you need to.

Nancy Turner talk, Fiona Hamersley-Chambers walk, Jan 2019

Nancy Turner came to our Talk and Walk in January 2019 and shared with us some of her ethnobotanical work on first nations technology and practice.  Below is a video of Nancy  prepared by Hakai. In it, Nancy talks about our native sword fern.


On Saturday, Metchosin’s own ethnobotanist, Fiona Hamersley-Chambers (a graduate student of Nancy’s), led a walk along high-tide Witty’s beach. Two dozen people turned out to see the evidence of indigenous land management pointed out by Fiona.





On Saturday, Metchosin’s own ethnobotanist, Fiona Hamersley-Chambers (a graduate student of Nancy’s), led a walk along high-tide Witty’s beach. Two dozen people turned out to see the evidence of indigenous land management pointed out by Fiona.

Wild Cultivation with Nancy Turner

Nancy Turner is a living legend in our area.  Her work on indigenous botany and traditional knowledge has helped all of us to understand how to relate to the BC environment and the BC first nations. Nancy has graciously agreed to come to Metchosin on Friday, January 18, to talk about traditional plant management as part of the Talk and Walk series. Please join us if you can (and come early if you want a seat).

Witty’s Sand Spit walk



Pippi Lawn gave a great talk on Friday night.  She reviewed the work that she and her teams had done on Sidney spit, restoring native plants.

On Saturday morning (Nov 17) a large group showed up at the end of Witty’s Lagoon Road to join Pippi for a walk around Witty’s spit.  Pippi talked about some of the lessons learned–both positive and negative–during the Sidney Spit restoration.