Guest Speaker: James & Kristen Miskelly, Sun. Apr. 16,2017

The Comox Valley, as most of Vancouver Island is fast seeing its Garry oak heritage disappear. Victoria has taken steps to reverse this trend by developing programmes to restore native Garry Oak ecosystems.

In order to foster this initiative Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host at their next meeting on Sun. Apr. 16, James and Kristen Miskelly, who are offering restoration courses through Royal Roads University in May.

Together, Kristen and James operate Saanich Native Plants, a native plant nursery and consulting business that they hope will assist others in conserving and enhancing natural habitat on Vancouver Island.

Garry oak ecosystems like the ones in BC are found from the Courtenay area all the way to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They were once a prominent feature of the Comox Valley. These ecosystems include woodlands, savannah, open prairie, and rocky hillsides. They are among the most endangered habitats in BC, Washington, and Oregon and support a distinctive suite of plants and animals.

What makes Garry oak ecosystems so special and threatened? What can we learn from successful restoration projects locally and afar?

Kristen and James Miskelly have travelled throughout the range of Garry oak ecosystems. Join them for an overview of these stunning meadowlands and learn what makes the habitats of the Comox Valley unique and distinctive and what we can do to help them.

Kristen Miskelly is a biologist who specializes in the restoration and botany of southeastern Vancouver Island ecosystems. Kristen also helps coordinate the Haliburton Biodiversity project, a volunteer-run wetland and meadow restoration project at Haliburton Farm and teaches courses in botany, ecological restoration, and naturescaping.

James Miskelly is a conservation biologist with expertise in plants, insects, and Garry Oak ecosystems. He works in various capacities in stewardship and restoration and is a research associate in entomology at the Royal BC Museum.

The lecture is on Sunday, April 16 and will start after introductions at 7pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Seniors Centre 411 Anderton, Courtenay.

Lecture is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

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