Whitehead Park 2021

Jan 4th

A very rainy day. Robin MacKenzie joined us. Kitty and I made up the team. The creek was high, flooding the trail in the usual spot. After walking around and showing what we had done to Robin, we settled in to clearing the plastic tape and downed horsetail from the rest of the hardhack. Much of it is standing up now. We will see how it fares. The two large cedar trees are tilting farther. We will give Saanich another week to get to them before we attempt the job ourselves. [3 people/ 1 hour]

Jan 11th

A day that threatened wind and rain but delivered neither while we were there. Lori, Kitty and I took a walk around both sides of the park. Saanich has tied up the tipping cedars very well. The hardhack is starting to stand upright as it reaches for the light. We couldn’t resist doing a little weeding as we went. More cardboard to smother more Reed Canary Grass would be a good idea. [3 people, 1 hour]

Jan 18th

Lori and Michael dropped off a bunch of cardboard. We removed the staples and tape and spread it on the reed canary grass below the trail in the hardhack. It was a bit hard to do because we didn’t particularly want to smother any other plants. We spread mulch on some of the cardboard. In the meantime Audrey and Lori were pulling blackberries and replacing the sign on the big fir. Audrey, Kathleen, Lori, Kitty and Mary. [5 people for 2 hours]

Jan 25th

A busy day in the park. The PSF sign was tipped over. Lori made a few phone calls and people turned up to right it. In the meantime Lori used her truck with Audrey guiding her to pull a Saanich truck out of the mud while Kitty and I were scraping up the last of the mulch and spreading it on the cardboard around the hardhack. (4 people 1 ½ hours)

Feb 1st

Only Lori and Mary were able to make it this morning. We spent the time looking over the site to see how the whispers of spring were making themselves felt. We decided we could take some of the fallen alder branches to continue our “fence” cum small bird and animal habitat between the trees along Goward Road. Still pretty wet. [2 people ¾ hour]

Feb 8th

Time to do serious planning in prep for a visit from Katie and Rick Hatch. We agree the main thing is maintenance. They have booked us in for March 11. [4 people for 1 hour]

Feb 15th

Feb 22nd

Slightly damp but we all turned out with relief. So nice to be out of the house and doing. We had a wander on the west side noting some damage that we will have to repair when the water goes down. The large alder with the tunneling under the roots is gone. Over on the east side we cleared the streams of little rock dams that looked like children having fun. Then we got to clearing the branches from the old alders and taking them to build up the “fences” along Goward. Then we got into pulling blackberries from among the rescued roses. And more general tidying around. Lori, Kitty, Audrey, Kathleen and Mary [5 people for 2 hours]

March 1st

Hydro line clearing had left us a big pile of chips. Perfect. In two teams of two we spread them on the trails, using our two wheelbarrows. Audrey and Lori did the central trail and Kitty and Mary did the trail in from Goward Road. We were proud of the results getting ready for spring. [4 people, 1 ½ hours]

March 8

Mostly getting ready for visit from Katie and Rick Hatch on Thursday. We noted trees that need staking, did some weeding, wondered about getting the Reed Canary Grass from among the other plants. Maintenance is the flavour of the month. [4 people 1 hour]

Red-flowering Currant starting to bloom.

Another good morning’s work.

March 11th: Restoration Action Plan tour with Katie Turner & Rick Hatch of Saanich

Meeting with Katie and Rick. On east side it is mostly maintenance. Asked for a few more cedars and some staking. On the west side we asked for some skunk cabbage and a couple of pines and a solution to the water that drains through the parking lot and across the grass. Probably a dry stream bed which would mean we will have to plan for some shrubs in the part nest to the road because the mower would not be able to get across the “stream”. [6 people for 1 ½ hours plus 2 Saanich staff]

March 15th

An excellent day. Robin and Brad from Saanich brought the 6 cedar trees we asked for as well a wire and posts in order to stake some tipping trees. Lori, Kitty, Audrey and I planted some trees and assisted in the staking. We also put more mulch on the reed canary grass, some with cardboard underneath and some without. A busy and productive day. 4 people for 1 ½ hours plus 2 Saanich Staff]

March 22

A very satisfying day. We completed covering the paths with chips as well as generally tidying up. It is so handy to have two wheelbarrows. Lori and I and Kathleen and Kitty made two teams with the wheelbarrows to get the job done. Meanwhile Audrey was on the west side removing some fencing that trees had outgrown and protecting others. [5 people for 1 ½ hours]

March 29

Admired Audrey’s work of last week. There is still a lot of water sitting on the land. It is, after all, still a flood plain on both sides of the creek. Audrey worked on the last (?) of the blackberries by the big tree. Kitty, Lori and I cleaned up more of the branches and other detritus on the rest of the site. We have almost used up the chips and thought we could mix the remaining bit with the mulch for later. First thing next week. Winona brought some cardboard by and we will spread in on the RCG. [4 people 1 ½ hours]

April 5

Three Wood ducks [a fourth out of photo to the right].

April 12

April 19

April 19

April 26

May 3rd

Audrey, Kaleigh, Mary & Lori worked the east-side for 1.5 hrs each.

May 10th

Audrey, Kitty, Mary & Lori for 1.5 hrs each at Lohr Road

May 17th

Audrey, Kitty, Mary & Lori for 1.5 hrs each. First we had a look at Whiteheat Park and then worked at Lohr Road.

Unfortunately, once again there is vandalism. Once again, we called the police to report it and a second police file was started.

May 24th

Kitty and Mary came to Lori’s for tea, and WHP planning session.

Red-breasted Sapsucker on the Redwood tree kept us company.

May 31st

Audrey, Mary and Lori at WHP for 1.5 hrs each. Setting cardboard over canary grass.

June 7th

Audrey, Kitty, Mary and Lori at Whitehead Park, continuing to spread cardboard and mulch for 1.5 hrs each.

Friday June 11th

Kathleen arranged for Kitty and Lori to pick up large jute coffee bags from Level Ground. They kindly sold us a lot of bags for $20. We will use these like the cardboard, placed overtop of the Reed canary grass, to suppress growth, and then covered with mulch or wood chips, depending where we put it.

June 14th

Whitehead Park for 1.5 hrs: Audrey, Kitty, Mary and Lori cleared the trails of the summer over-growth. Our park neighbour walked his dog past the park and offered to retrieve the water gauge from the stream. Mary took it home to clean for future re-placement.

After the park, we took a tour of the Plot Market Garden

June 21st

We arrived to find a Stand Up Paddleboarding group coming to enjoy the lake.

June 28th

July 5th

July 12th

July 19th

July 26th

Aug 2nd

Audrey came alone today, and photographed the mess in the park r/t no toilets during Covid. She then wrote an excellent letter, which she sent to Saanich with the photos, stating the obvious need for the park guests and volunteers to see the toilet returned.

Aug 9th

Mary, Kathleen, Kitty and Audrey worked to clear the trails, spread mulch on the trails, and weed where needed.

Aug 16th:

No work today at Whitehead Park

Aug 19th:

Tod Flats, looking to find Triantha occidentalis, a bog-dwelling western false asphodel, recently discovered to be carnivorous. First described in the scientific literature in 1879, this is a new discovery. See our “Information Page” for a full report of Triantha occidentals, with photo, here https://www.todcreekwatershed.ca/information-resources; and to see our tour of the flats on our “Projects Page”, under ‘Tod Flats 2021’ here https://www.todcreekwatershed.ca/tod-flats-2021 .

Aug 23rd

Low water levels at Prospect Lake

Aug 30th

Sept 6th

Sept 13th

Sept 20th

Oct 4th

Nov 1st

Nov 8th

Nov 15th BC in catastrophic flooding crisis. Here’s our corner:

Later this same day, Audrey took this photo of the wharf:

Nov 17th: water levels at Lohr Road.

Nov 22nd

Nov 29th

Kitty and Mary worked alone on a very cold day, assessing a new planting site.

Dec 6th: Called for cold + snow

Dec 13th:

Dec 20th

Dec 22, 2021

Trees delivered by Saanich for planting in the new year.

Last photo of the year: our neighbour swims in the lake all year.

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