Category Archives: Meeting Notes

March/ April 2020

 Friends of Tod Creek Watershed Activity Report [During Covid-19 Restrictions re Gatherings]

March April, 2020

Mission: to protect and enhance the integrity and biodiversity of the Tod Creek Watershed

1. Announcements:

  • a] Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate: Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration  April 22, 23 and 24 , Courtenay
    https://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/event/2020/Comox-Valley-Water-Stewardship-Symposium
  • Postponed to October 2020
    b] CPAWS Celebration of Migratory Bird Day was presented as a virtual celebration on Saturday May 9
  • c] Love Thy Nature  If you haven’t seen the film Narrated by Liam Neeson and the winner of 27 awards yet, you can watch it for free through the links listed below. Love Thy Nature points to how deeply we’ve lost touch with nature, and takes viewers on a cinematic journey through the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. The film shows that a renewed connection with nature is key both to our personal health and the health of our planet.    You can view the trailer here and the screening links to the movie are below:

5. Previous and Ongoing Activities 

  • a] Aquatic Plant Survey – The province has requested that all Lake Stewardship activities been postponed unless that can be conducted according to COVID 19 guidelines. Thank you to everyone who responded so quickly to the new BC Lake Stewardship insurance information requirements. We will add the information for volunteers as needed.
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  • b] Bat box building workshop – A very successful bat house building workshop has given us 6 bat boxes installed in the area. Kathleen has donated her Rocket Box to be located on the Tod Flats. All of the boxes are registered with HAT to provide ongoing tracking of activity. A huge thank you to Anne and Ian for all of the preparation and an ideal location for the workshop.  The summer edition of Our Backyard has a short article on the event with photos by Anne and Lori.
  • f] Tod Creek Watershed Connections publication – a limited number of copies are available for sale. Lori will be ordering more when the next sale comes up.
  • g] CRD Featured Watersheds website – No new developments have occurred. A Metchosin resident has approached the CRD about the holly in the regional parks and has contacted FTCW for support in moving the issue forward.
  • h] Mary Haig Brown Recognition Award – nominations may be made by contacting any member of the Nominating Committee. 

6. Projects:

  • a] Bus tour of the watershed dependent on finding funding and appropriate dates based on COVID 19 restrictions. Grant applications may be possible through the Prospect Lake Heritage Society. In the Fall, we will apply to PSF for $500; 
  • b] Tod Creek Flats – Mary,  Lori & Gwen will start a photographic Tod Flats plant ID series;
  • c]  Parks 1) Whitehead Park – We were able to complete the planting of over 60 native plants on March 23 prior to the cancellation of all formal Pulling Together activities.
     The EOC has not yet approved any resumption of volunteer activities, and all volunteer activities in Saanich Parks continue to be canceled. Saanich is planning for a reactivation of volunteer activities soon, while keeping everyone healthy and safe
  • 2) South Prospect Lake broom pull or bash: Saturday June 20th, postponed. Saanich Parks will place a “No Dumping” sign at the entrance to the wetland trail on Estelline to prevent further damage to the sensitive ecosystem from garden waste disposal
    3) Meadowbrook Right of Way – ivy pull – Saturday May 30th; postponed
  • d] Peninsula Streams update – Has received 6 grants from Pacific Salmon Foundation for jobs this summer. All PSS volunteer activities have been postponed .
  • e] Website – The website is always being added on to, and I welcome any input [photos, comments, or suggestions]. The “Heritage Page” is currently being updated, small changes to how the pages are laid out as we have recently received some great family history from a Prospect Lake elder. The gentleman’s daughter bought him our ‘Reflections’ book and he loved it, sparking a flood of memories which his daughter is organizing for us.  We don’t have permission to share everything yet but as soon as we do, it will be added to the new sub-page ‘Heritage Chronicles’ in addition to including it with our Prospector Newsletters Catalog project complied for the Saanich Archives. In the meantime, please have a look at this new page, for enjoyment, and for some needed direction: I would like to put a Table of Contents [of sorts] at the top of the page. How? ie number the entries and note the names in each entry? It can’t be too onerous, as when new documents are added, the website doesn’t have the capability of automatically re-alphebetizing. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Also: on our “Information Page” we have been given permission to share [by way of a link] a Wetland Identification Guide from The Island County Department of Planning & Community Development in Washington State. It’s a succinct guide with good information and photos for identifying wetlands, the soils, and the indicator plants. And finally, on our “Kid’s Page”: the Pacific Salmon Foundation has created the “Species of the Salish Sea” diversity discovery booklet which can be accessed from the link provided. It is a good addition for our current home-schooling Covid time.
  • f] Heritage Society  We have a new contact for two families living in the area during the 1940 and 1950 decades. 
  • The Prospector collection is on hold until the libraries reopen. Suggestions for the  AGM are welcome
  • g] Maltby Lake – spring flowers will be at their peak 
  • h] April Water Quality measurements were canceled due to COVID 19 concerns. We hope to resume measurements at the end of May or early June with precautions in place. Garth is working on a short report on the hydrology of Prospect Lake
  • I] Saanich Streams would like to know of any erosion or stream work that is needed. The pending sale of 273 Prospect Lake Road may provide an opportunity to consider the reassignment of the two water licenses that are registered with the property

7. Previous Business:
a]  Society Status: The group decided not to become a Society. Application to become a Society will be reviewed if necessary 

c] Campaign to Stop CRD Spread of Toxic Biosolids at Hartland: Winona, Audrey Gwen & Mary have met to discuss a strategy to protest this decision. A letter has been written to George Heyman Minister of the Environment and a letter was also written to the CRD in response to the Notice of Intent to Issue and Operational Certificate for the Biosolids Facility. The letter was copied to the Director and the Chair of the CRD Board. Gwen and Winona arranged to meet with Ryan Windsor however that meeting did not happen. Thank you to those individuals who have written follow up letters and please contact me if you have suggestions for further action.

e] Saanich Environmental Awards nomination deadline was extended to Monday May 19

Our next meeting is tentatively planned for  Wednesday July 8.

4 March 2020

Friends of Tod Creek Watershed Agenda

Mission: to protect and enhance the integrity and biodiversity of the Tod Creek Watershed

Thank you Anne & Ian for hosting the March meeting.

Attendance: Gwen Curry, Janet Williams, Mary Haig-Brown, Valerie Haig-Brown, Bernie Bowker, Audrey Barnes, Winona Pugh, Lori James, Anne and Ian

Regrets: Pat Carfra and Sherron MacPherson

1. Adoption of agenda;

2. Adoption of January 7, 2020 meeting notes;

3. Treasurers report: January account balance $225.68

4. Announcements:

5. Previous Business:

  • a] Colquitz River Walk: Winona will put out a couple of dates;
  • b] Aquatic Plant Survey results: no word from Adolf Cesca yet;
  • c] Bat box building workshop – workshop date Tuesday, March 3. Cost $50. With Thanks to Steve at Ceanesse Kitchens Ltd on Alpha Street. Winona to send a card;
  • f] Tod Creek Watershed Connections publication – a limited number of copies are available for sale. Lori will be ordering more when the next sale comes up;
  • g] CRD Featured Watersheds website – Winona has contacted the Watershed manager, Dan Saprunoff to inquire about including the Tod Creek Watershed as a featured watershed on the CRD website. No new developments from CRD;
  • h] Mary Haig Brown Recognition Award – nominations may be made by contacting any member of the Nominating Committee.

6. Projects:

  • a] Bus tour of the watershed dependent on finding funding. Grant applications may be possible through the Prospect Lake Heritage Society. In the Fall, we will apply to PSF for ~ $500;
  • b] Tod Creek FlatsFascinating meeting with Judy and Dave Wallace recorded by Pat. Kathleen has located an extensive survey of bird species through the Victoria Natural History Society. Retired biologist Eric Lofroth has provided advice on possible partners and options for protecting the flats as wetlands and next steps. Roger Graves will be the liaison with the land owners. Mary will pursue the people Dave & Judy mentioned; Lori & Gwen will start a photographic Tod Flats plant ID series;
  • c] Whitehead Park – we have met to complete the Restoration Plan for the west side and submitted the plan to Saanich. Mary, Audrey, Lori and Kathleen met with the new Park Stewardship Coordinator, Katie Turner and Jill Tuson. New plants have arrived and a planting party is needed -possible dates for a Monday morning. Dates [Katie Turner, Park Coordinator notified]:
    1) Planting the native plants in Whitehead Park: Monday March 16th,
         2) South Prospect Lake broom pull or bash: Saturday June 20th,
         3) Clearing the r-o-w opposite Meadowbrook: Saturday May 30th;
  • d] Peninsula Streams updateTwo releases of coho have been completed, the first 3,000 were released at Lohr Road and Durrance Creek on February 13 after the storm water had subsided. The second release of 500 PIT coho was completed February 28
  • e] Website – A new documentary Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom has been featured on the website (Local Publications) in honor of Black History month. The short film is the story of the first Afro- American settlers in Victoria;
  • f] Heritage Society Knowing Tod Inlet was a successful event held in celebration of BC Heritage week in partnership with Lana Popham, MLA. Approximately 40 people attended the event which featured documentaries by David Gray and readings by Gwen Curry;
  • g] Maltby Lake -winter storm caused several trees to blow down and power outages;
  • h] March Water Quality measurements: Ian, Mary, Winona & Valerie will do on Thursday March 12th;
  • I] Saanich Streams would like to know of any erosion or stream work that is needed;

7. New Business:

  • a] Application to become a Society
  • b] Emergency Contact for spills, dead fish, other environmental contamination concerns [list from Dorothy     Chambers]:

The order in which you call these numbers does not matter, but for EMBC is #1…
Once you have the DGIR # you can quote it to the other authorities….

#1….EMBC… the number on the yellow salmon key chain…1-800-663-3456. Emergency Management BC… formerly PEP

This is your number one call… ask for a DGIR # and a call back…. This stands for Dangerous Goods Incident Report… it is the file number attached to your call.  Get this number, as you use it to then proceed with other calls and quote it….

#2… RAPP…. Report All Polluters and Poachers…. 1-877-952-7277. This is also called the Natural Resource Violations Report Line

#3… DFO report line…. 1-800-465-4336. ORR, Observe, Record and Report line

#4…. FFHPP… Fisheries and Fish Habitat Protection Program….1-866-845-6776

c] Campaign to Stop CRD Spread of Toxic Biosolids at Hartland: Winona, Audrey & Mary will organize a group to collect & share info and talk to Lana & Adam;

d] Thank you to those who completed the Watershed Governance survey. POLIS Water Sustainability Project – UVic.

e] Saanich Environmental Awards are coming up: Suggested we nominate Red Barn [Business] and Richard Hebda [Individual Environmental Achievement].

f] The group decided not to become a Society.

Next meeting: Wednesday May 6th at Mary & Bernie’s. 

8 January 2020

Friends of Tod Creek Watershed

Agenda:  Jan 8th @ 7:30pm
Mission: to protect and enhance the integrity and biodiversity of the Tod Creek Watershed.
Thank you to Audrey for hosting our meeting.

Attendance: Kathleen Jones, Anne Allen, Audrey Barnes, Bernie Bowker, Pat Carfra, Ian Duncan, Mary Haig-Brown, Winona Pugh,  Sherron MacPherson, Carmel Thomson, Joanne Delage, Michael Derry and Lori James Derry

Regrets: Chris Weiczorek [from Lana Popham’s office], Gwen Curry
1. Adoption of Agenda: passed;
2. Adoption of Meeting Notes: passed;
3. Treasurers Report: Account balance $225.68;
4. Announcements:

  • a] As a member of the Green Shores Local Government Working Group, the CRD Harbours and Watersheds Program is able to offer no and low cost training opportunities for our municipal partners and the community in 2020. Both courses will be given at the University of Victoria Green Shores Level 1: Friday January 17th, 2020, 9am – 4pm.  No charge for this course but you must register to participate. Green Shores Level 2: Thurs. and Fri. March 26 & 27, 2020, 8:30am – 4pm. Level 1 is a pre-requisite to this course, cost is $465 plus GST. Please register at https://continuingstudies.uvic.ca/science-and-ecological-restoration/courses/green-shorestm-training-program
  • b] Two valuable members of the Saanich Parks department will be leaving for exciting new career changes. Jenny Eastman will be moving to the CRD to focus on invasive species and Andrew Burger will be moving to Comox as Manager of Parks. We will miss their knowledge and support.

5. Previous Business:

a]Highlights of dam safety workshop, which Mary & Bernie attended in Duncan. It was well-presented by John Baldwin [Safety Officer for VI].

Summary of workshop:

b] Summary of Saanich Inlet Roundtable: in Nov, Mary & Winona attended. Summary: Soil Rehabilitation Proposal for Malahat land, Plastics and Microplastics in the Ocean and Concerns about the Pacific Herring Roe Industry. Minutes are available on the SIPS website.  http://saanichinletprotection.org/RoundTable.html ;

c] Colquitz River walk – possible date Friday January 10 or Sunday January 12: postponed until after snow;

d] Aquatic Plant Survey results: Adolf and Aluna Ceska will do an analysis on plant samples suspected of being either Northern or Eurasian Mifoil and let Winona know when those results are in;

e] Bat box building workshop – call for interested participants and a date. Ian collected names and preferences re which type of bat box would work for participants property; he will pre-groove all the plywood for the boxes; Ian will let us know when these are ready to be assembled;

f] Tod Creek Watershed Connections publication: book sales are good [nine copies sold at this meeting];

g] CRD Featured Watersheds website – Winona has contacted the Watershed manager, Dan Saprunoff to inquire about including the Tod Creek Watershed as a featured watershed on the CRD website. Winona will let the group know when that happens;

h] Mary Haig Brown Recognition Award – call for nominations and members of a selection committee. Original group stands; email Winona will nominations;

6. Projects:

a] Bus tour of the watershed in partnership with Peninsula Streams – possible Spring event. Mary & Michael will present the event to Pen Streams in a subsequent meeting;

b] Tod Creek Flats – meeting with Dave and Judy Wallace [providing good historical information], Winona, Mary and Pat on Thursday. “Tod Creek Flats: Vision 2020″ draft proposal created by Roger Graves and Mary;

c] Whitehead Park – we have met to complete the Restoration Plan for the west side and developed a draft proposal for Saanich.

  • there an interest in arranging a workparty to remove ivy from the Lake access opposite Meadowbrook Road;

d] Peninsula Streams update: Millstream Project going forward now, while water is high. There is a 9 foot culvert under Atkins Road, so a bypass will be constructed [a Fishway];

e] Website – 2020 updates are underway;

f] Heritage Society

  • completing the Prospector collection. Anne and Audrey have collected aprox 55 newsletters so far;
  • possible dates for Tod Inlet Heritage event during Heritage week, February 17 -22. The theme is Bringing the Past into the Future;

g] Maltby Lake

  • Carmel made arrangements for Joan Hendrick and Winona to walk around Maltby Lake with new Saanich Environmental staff member Thomas Munson, MSc, PAg.: as an Environmental Technician, Thomas works in stewardship, restoration and protection of the natural areas of Garry oak ecosystems, which involves invasive plant removal, plant propagation and site re-vegetation with native Garry oak species;

h] January Water Quality measurements – Garth, Ian, Mary, Michael and Winona will continue to do these measurements, with the next excursion TBA;

7. New Business:

  • The sale of the Meadowbrook Blueberry Farm and Reservoir  [Bernie covered under the dam workshop information];
  • Carmel reports the culverts recently installed along Prospect Lake [at Trevlac Pond] are not amphibian-friendly.  To learn more about this, go to: https://hat.bc.ca/images/Amphib_Stewardship_Series_with_Newsletter2015_web.pdf
  • For additional reading re: Amphibian/Reptile Crossing, go to our Information Page and open WILDLIFE CROSSING STRUCTURE HANDBOOK Design and Evaluation in North America. This is a very comprehensive document, for specific information on amphibians and reptiles, scroll down to page 157.

Next meeting: Wednesday March 4 at Mary & Bernies home. 

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