Whitehead Park 2019

Prospect Lake, Jan 2nd.














Photo taken from the public wharf: the beaver has not gone away for the holidays.



Jan 5th: Water levels are high after our winter rains.

From the Tod Creek Bridge on Goward Road, you can see the water gauge level, reads at 4 cm less than 1 meter = 96 cm.         To compare how high it is from last year’s reading, see the photo from Sept 2018 —>


First reading, Sept 24/ 2018: 12 cm.   For ongoing water level photos and stats, go to our Hydrology Page.


January 7th

After looking in at a meeting at Pat’s regarding the algae bloom on the lake, I got to the park where I met Audrey. We got to work where we left off. I moved some of the Carex that is growing over the path and cleaned a bit of detritus from the little creek. Made a mucky mess which I hope will get washed by rain. Then I repaired some of the damage to the trail with several wheelbarrow loads of chips. In the meantime, Audrey, after the obligatory pulling of some blackberries among the roses, started tidying up the huge branches that came off our big wildlife tree in the recent wind storm. She managed to place them to form an edging to the path near where they fell. 2 people for 1 ½ hours.

Whitehead Park, east.

Standing on Goward Road, with the bridge to your back, this is the east side of Whitehead Park. Note the water coming up to the woodland trail, it’s usually to the right of the Alder trees.


Standing on Whitehead Park east, trail entrance.



Walking along the trail a bit further.



On the same trail, just across the small creek bed that Saanich put in, you come to the outdoor school room on the right.


January 14th

A cold and sunny day. Ducks on the creek, a covey of quail in the undergrowth and plenty of bird song. On a day like this everything seems possible. Audrey and Mary worked near the south east boundary. Audrey was pulling blackberries and freeing up shrubs and small trees that were being pulled down by last year’s decaying top growth. Mary weeded and dumped chips on the path that was disappearing under green growth. All very satisfying as we get ready for spring. 2 people for 1 ½ hours.

Whitehead Park, west side.

Standing in the parking lot on Goward Road.


January 21st

Audrey and Mary had a good look at the west side now that the water has gone down a bit. One section of cardboard had been floated from its position and placed neatly on top of the adjacent area its topping of mulch still intact. Lots of beaver activity. They then carried on with their projects from last week, Mary weeding and putting chips on the path and Audrey untangling and weeding the hardhack. 2 people for 1 ½ hours.

January 28th

Mary continued work on the trail weeding and adding chips. The ground is soft so pulling the buttercups is not difficult and very satisfying. A covey of quail kept her company. 1 person 1 ½ hours.

February 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th 

Very cold.

No work done.

Some days the park was covered by snow.

Photo to the right: Feb 26th



March 4th

Still too much snow to go to the park. Jill T. delivered our wonderful tool order to our house. The wheelbarrow is very exciting to contemplate, but work will have to wait.

March 11th

Hoping to do some work, Audrey and Mary went to the park. There is still too much frozen snow to be able to dig or mulch. However, we had a thorough look around noticing what has done well (carex transplants) and what has changed (branches down), pruned a few broken bits, propped up other bits and picked up garbage. We were happy to see the bones of the park since the snow flattened much of the vegetation allowing a clear view. The beaver have been very busy. Audrey took pictures. 2 people 1 hour.


More beaver damage.




March 23rd









WHP-east side, the Skunk cabbage are spreading. Today,  there are 7 apparent sprouts coming up, growing from a short thick underground root-stem (rhizome). The bright yellow flowerhead reaches from 30 to 50 cm (12-20”) high; the flowers are jammed cheek to jowl along the central stalk called a spadix;  and each flower is scarcely half a centimetre wide. British Columbia First Nations used the leaves to wrap food, much in the way we use wax paper today.

Info from: https://curious.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/skunk-cabbage-a-british-columbia-plant-reaches-across-the-pacific/


18 March 

Busy elsewhere, humans busy somewhere else that is:

25 March

Mary walked the new wheelbarrow up to the park. By the time she got there the wheel was falling off. Sherron and Mary spread the cardboard donated by Kelly on the patches on the west side and spread mulch using the old wheelbarrow. 2 people 1 hour

1 April

Red-flowering current [Ribes sanguineum], harbingers of spring and hummingbirds. Plants of Coastal BC by Pojar & MacKinnon, 1994.

Mary walked the repaired wheelbarrow down to the park. Beautiful day with sunshine and Red Current in flower along with Indian Plum. Sherron and Mary checked the whole park to see where we should start. We spread the rest of Kelly’s cardboard near the open air classroom and mulched it. The new wheelbarrow in lovely and light. 




We were watched by an eagle calling at us from the top of the big fir. Another eagle came along and was noisily chased off. We noticed some of the transplanted Carex is not looking happy. The ground is so dry that I suspect other things will suffer as well. 2 people 1 ½ hours.

8 April

Mary and Audrey worked on the east side dealing with blackberries (not many) and shiny geranium (abundant). The small salal plants we planted a couple of years ago are holding their own but not expanding – maybe this year.

White Fawn lily [Erythronium oregonum]

Two fawn lilies are blooming under the firs. 2 people 1 hour. 




















15 April

We worked at Lohr Road getting the unwanted growth out, mostly blackberries and thistles. Not nearly as many as last year. The elderberry plants are thriving as is the yarrow, Douglas aster, roses and brome. The ravages of the flail are obvious, but maybe some things will recover. Audrey, Sherron, Lori, Winona, Caleigh and Mary worked away and decided we will come back here next week to finish up. 6 people for 1 hour or so.

22 April

Audrey and Mary worked a Lohr Road carrying on with the weeding for 1 hour. Then over to the Hort Centre for a display celebrating Earth Day.

29 April

No park work. We were at the GOERT workshop at Cedar Hill.

6 May 

Finishing up at Lohr Road for now. Roads crew were painting the bridge railings the other day. I asked them about the mowing and was told they need to do that for safety. I pointed out how we were working to maintain the native plants. I hope they understood a bit. Mary, Lori and Caleigh for 1 ½ hours.






















13 & 20 May

Mary was in Toronto.


27 May

Planning walk with Jill Tuson, Natural Areas Practitioner, Parks Division, Saanich. Growth is rampant. Good to be back after several weeks. West side is looking great. Jill suggested removing some of the fences around the trees which are now large enough to fend for themselves. No sign of the mimulus we seeded last fall. Jill suggests some Mock Orange. (Philadelphus). On the east side, prune some of the roses where they are blocking the path. Work on the edges of the Lamium to prevent spread. Chip Nigel’s pile spreading chips under the roses near the road. We were very relieved to find that the granium that are spreading under the hardhack are both natives, (Geranium robertianum and G. molle). For the shady patch under the maples and below the mulch pile, ferns: deer and lady as well as sword, dull Oregon Grape and some more Philadelphus. Prepare plant order list August for delivery and planting in Nov. to Feb. Winona, Audrey, Caleigh and Mary for 1 ½ hours.


28 Oct 

Visiting Whitehead Park walking from the parking lot on Goward Road:




about to cross the bridge over Tod Creek, walking toward the east side of the park.










Turn right:

and follow the trail along side Tod Creek. Although leafy, it’s easy to see the trails circling the park.











At the far east end, Mary and Audrey weed and upgrade the mulch on the trail.









Saanich workers are helping remove Lamium,












and have posted a sign:


11th Nov 11th 












Dec 1st 2019


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