Saanich receives $1.2 million for ecosystem restoration

June 3, 2021

News release

For immediate release

Saanich receives $1.2 million for ecosystem restoration

Saanich, BC – Saanich has received $1.2 million from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to restore Garry oak and trembling aspen ecosystems in Saanich. The funding compensates for ecosystems lost due to the McKenzie interchange project construction.

With the funding, Saanich Parks staff will start work on three restoration projects this spring in Layritz, Vic Derman and Cuthbert Holmes Parks. These parks were chosen as areas most similar to what was lost and where space allows.

“We are pleased the province is contributing these significant funds to enhance, restore and replace these important ecosystems in Saanich,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “These works on our precious ecosystems talk to the very core values of Saanich as the remarkable rural, coastal, wooded and urban municipality our residents enjoy.”

The work will take place over the next few years. Layritz and Vic Derman Parks will see a Garry oak restoration and enhancement and Cuthbert Holmes will see a new trembling aspen ecosystem created along the Colquitz River. In Layritz, Saanich will cover the cost of a new trail, split rail fence and interpretive signage to help protect the Garry oak meadow to be restored. The trembling aspen will be located within a larger restoration area in Cuthbert Holmes Park that includes relocating a trail and instream river enhancements.

The funding amount was calculated by an independent registered biologist’s evaluation and is based on the province’s voluntary Environmental Mitigation Policy.

“From the very start of the McKenzie interchange project the ministry has been committed to making sure we worked with Saanich to offset for the Trembling Aspens and Garry Oaks that needed to be removed for construction,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Saanich is a beautiful place to live and these enhancements to the ecosystem will ensure it remains so for generations to come.”

Earlier this year, Saanich committed to participate in the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) which calls upon everyone, including governments, to get involved in reviving damaged ecosystems. 


Media contact:
Eva Riccius
Senior Manager Parks