Respecting nature's gifts: Give back to nature and let nature give back to you.
Giving back by enhancing local habitats
- Plant some habitat in your outdoor space
- Support community gardening
- Plant a tree on your property
- Build homes for birds, bats and bees
Attract and enjoy wildlife in your own backyard or balcony area. Create your unique Naturescape:
- Learn about Saanich's Naturescape Program which can help you in this process!
- Planter or container gardens using native plants (check out examples of native plants)
- Play areas for the kids using naturalized logs
- Remove ivy or other invasive species from your property
- Take a workshop on planting native plants (check out an example)
- Join the Native Plant Study Group
By gardening in community, you can learn more about our seasons and what food plants need to grow well and meet like-minded people. You can share your knowledge with new gardeners.
Learn more about community gardens in Saanich.
Trees provide so many benefits: from cooling our homes, slowing down heavy rains, cleaning the air, absorbing carbon, to providing habitat for birds and insects and more.
The three main components of habitat are food, water and shelter. You can help support native animals by building them homes (shelter).
Do you like bats and birds? Building a bird-house or bat-house is a great project to do by yourself or with family or friends. You’ll find some great information on habitats and simple designs for: Nestbox for Swallows [PDF - 41 KB], Chickadees and Nuthatches [PDF - 56 KB] or bats. Also check out this information about protecting nestboxes from invasive birds [PDF - 227 KB].
By adding pollinator friendly plants in your outdoor space, you are helping pollinators thrive by providing food and shelter throughout their active seasons. Embrace pollinator friendly practices and make a difference to the pollinators and the people that rely on them.
- Find out how you can provide plants that attract and support our native butterflies [PDF - 203 KB].
- Learn to identify the butterflies [PDF - 6 MB] and dragonflies [PDF - 146 KB] that visit your yard or patio.
- Find out how you can provide habitat for native bees [PDF - 322 KB].
Some more great resources on pollinators, as well as how to help our pollinator friends:
- Habitat for Humanity pollinator publications
- Pollinator Partnership Canada
- Royal BC Museum online learning portal
- Pollinators at the Gardens (The Gardens at HCP)
Giving back by learning about nature
The more we learn about nature, the better prepared we are to give back to nature. There are lots of places to learn more about nature around us.
- Download the Plants and Animals Guide [PDF - 878 KB] to learn what you might see in Saanich Parks.
- Grab a Naturehood map [PDF - 8 MB] and build your own local adventure. Check off the plants and animals you see along the way.
- Learn about Indigenous ways of knowing about nature by exploring Initiatives – W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council or visiting the W̱SÁNEĆ Ethnobotany Trail - Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.
- Take a workshop through some of our partners like Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary or Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.
- Watch a nature documentary and talk about what you learned with friends and family.
- Learn to use the iNaturalist app to record what you observe in nature.
"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies" Gertrude Jekyll
Giving back by volunteering
Learn more about your natural surroundings and give back to nature by volunteering in Saanich parks!
- The Pulling Together Volunteer Program provides many opportunities to help restore natural areas in parks.
- The Park Ambassador Program helps to teach park visitors about the park they are visiting and what their role is in protecting these special places. We currently have Park Ambassadors in Mount Douglas Park.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller