Viaduct Flats Wetland Restoration
A small creek flows through the Glendale lands that is part of the salmon-bearing Colquitz watershed system. For several decades, an area along this creek known as Viaduct Flats was farmed.
In 1993, soon after the agriculture lease expired, a beaver dammed the creek at the downstream end of the flats.
Water remained on the land during the summer and fall, and the area was immediately transformed into unique wildlife habitat.
Birding observations from June 1994 through May 1995 showed there was a greater diversity and abundance of water-based birds on a year-round basis than any other site on southern Vancouver Island.
The area is now protected by a covenant agreement, and a committee with representatives from the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, the Victoria Natural History Society, and the Municipality of Saanich is developing a management plan.
The HCP lands contain another type of habitat that is even more endangered than the wetlands. These dry, rocky areas are characterized by Garry oak and arbutus (trees found nowhere else in Canada) and by spring bulbs that are rare in B.C. These bulbs include the white fawn lily, great camas, white triteleia and harvest brodiaea.
The bad news about these areas is that they tend to be degraded easily because they are susceptible to overgrowth by imported Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry. They also offer high, open areas in the forest that attract hikers. The good news is that restoration is a simple, though not easy, matter of removing the invasive plants and designing trails that enable hikers to enjoy the views without walking on the sensitive thin soil.