Earth Day Message from Margaret, FOUP Society Chair – April 22-2020

The classes at Ecole Willows Elementary have been restoring a very unhealthy area in Uplands Park for the past several years.  It was an area ploughed in the 1850’s to create part of Uplands Farm growing non-native agrarian grasses to feed the cattle.  By 2015, there were virtually no native plants growing in the area…only invasive plants:  Norway maple, European ash, Daphne laureola, Himalayan blackberry and English ivy.
A very large Garry Oak tree, about 250 years old, was revealed in August of 2015 when the OB Parks Dept removed invasive trees in an area near Dorset.  The area under the oak and all around was completely covered by invasive plants.  The students removed the English ivy from under and around the “Grandparent” Garry oak and planted native species from 2015 to 2019.  Oak Bay Parks removed more invasive trees in 2018 and 2019 and exposed a very big area to sunshine.  This last Fall, all the classes planted native species including 4 “grandchildren” oaks about 8 years old.  The money to pay for the plants (about $12,000) was donated by teachers doing FOUP non-restoration programs in the park, Tree Canada, Telus, federal Habitat Stewardship Program, Oak Bay Parks and the Municipality of Oak Bay.  FOUP greatly appreciates the donations.
If you visit the site, please stay on the marked trail and go in one direction.  If you need to social distance, go back.  Walking on the plants may kill them.  Keep dogs on leash and on the trail.  Birds are nesting and many do so on or near the ground.
One of the teachers at Willows is Sally Hallam.  She is dedicated to her Kindergarten students, teaching them about nature, especially about trees.  Her class last year created a tree calendar and the proceeds paid for one of the “grandchildren” Garry oak trees that was planted by all the Kindergarten students at Willows and some Grade 1 students.  Each child placed a handful of soil around the roots.  They then planted other native species.
Sally has created an excellent website on the Connections in Kindness of trees that she has been teaching about for the last 2 years, and which has current science information, videos, activities and the tree photographs taken by her students.  Oak Bay High students partnered with them and taught them how to do photography.   Sally invites you to explore the website, have fun and learn.
FOUP thanks Sally for her commitment, enthusiasm and love of nature.
Yours in kindness to nature,
Margaret Lidkea, President
Friends of Uplands Park


In October 2018, The Friends of Uplands Park transitioned to the FRIENDS OF UPLANDS PARK SOCIETY. A PDF of the Annual Report for 2019 is attached.


The Friends of Uplands Park was formed in 2010 and 2020 marks the 10th anniversary. More details are found in the annual report but let’s celebrate virtually the 183 events held in 2019 that engaged 4591 participants. Huge thanks to all the volunteers. Congratulations and huge thanks for the hundreds of hours of work inspired and contributed by the BOARD of the FRIENDS OF UPLANDS PARK SOCIETY:
Margaret Lidkea, President
Wylie Thomas, Vice-President
Matt Fairbarns, Treasurer
Anna Graham, Secretary
Rick Marshall, Director-at-large

NO IVY LEAGUE: Weekly invasive plant removal. Cattle Point. Sundays 1 to 3pm. Jan 19 to March 8, 2020

Volunteers are invited to participate in the weekly NO IVY LEAGUE program hosted by the Friends of Uplands Park to help remove English Ivy + other invasive plants. Takes place every Sunday from 1 to 3pm, starting Jan 19, 2020 and continuing through to March 8, 2020. Meet at the Cattle Pt. kiosks. Tools, gloves and “best practices” instruction provided. Thanks for helping to restore the endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem. FOUP website at with Oak Bay Parks.

FOUP: Carpet Burweed Crawl at Cattle Point – Sunday January 12, 2020, 1-3pm


SUNDAY Jan 12, 2020 1 to 3 pm

CATTLE POINT meet by kiosks

 Join Friends of Uplands Parkto remove the extreme invasive carpet burweed on Cattle Point. Although small, it can cover and destroy the colourful wildflowers.  Prickly seeds in May and June stick on shoes, clothes, fur and dog paws to spread to your yard and to sports fields. This is a real nasty weed!  WE NEED YOUR HELPTO WEED!

Oak Bay News Article: Dec. 3, 2019. Willows Students Contribute to Uplands Park Restoration

Oak Bay News Article web link at

Willows students help put 2,500 native plants into Oak Bay’s Uplands Park

Photos Courtesy of Oak Bay News.

Experts Talk on Adapting to Climate Change: December 2nd at 7 pm at the Monterey Community Centre

Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture, the Community Association of Oak Bay and Friends of Uplands Park invite you to an Experts Talk on Adapting to Climate Change on December 2nd at 7 pm  at the Monterey Community Centre

Dr. Richard Hebda, long-time BC climate researcher, will present on:

Climate Change, Ecosystems, and Adaptation for Southern Vancouver Island

Richard Hebda is the former Curator of Botany and Earth History at Royal BC Museum. He has a PhD in Botany and has taught in various environmental science departments at the University of Victoria. He studies plant fossils and their distribution over time and place in order to shed light on the condition, history and evolution of BC’s landscape and climate. He also studies ethnobotany of BC First Nations, restoration of natural systems and processes, ecology and origins of Garry Oak and alpine ecosystems and botany of grasses.

Dr. Stephen Sheppard,Director of UBC’s Bachelor of Urban Forestry Program, will present on:

The Citizens Coolkit: Fun ways to climate-proof your forest and your “hood”

Dr. Stephen Sheppard, PhD., ASLA, is a Professor in Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia, teaching landscape and climate change planning, community engagement and visualization. He has served as Director of UBC’s Bachelor of Urban Forestry program and directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group which works with communities on developing climate change and energy solutions. He has published four books, including Visualizing Climate Change from Earthscan/Routledge. He leads UBC’s Research Cluster of Excellence on Cool Tools: Social Mobilization on Climate Change using Digital Tools.

Question period to follow.

Poster PDF: Climate Presentation-02Dec19

Uplands Park: Volunteers needed for Willows School Projects in November 2019 – FOUP program


Ecole Willows Elementary School has been doing a restoration project in Uplands Park for the last 3 years.  Students have removed invasive English ivy and other invasive plants, and then planted native species around a surviving 250 year old Garry oak tree…a Grandparent tree.  See the photos below.

This area was originally plowed in the mid 1800’s to allow grain to be grown for cattle, arriving at Cattle Point, and vegetables to be grown for the soldiers at Fort Victoria.  An aerial photo from the 1920’s shows a ploughed field with only a large Garry oak tree and a Black hawthorn tree.
Since then it has been overrun with invasive plants with only 4 species of plants left…invasive English ivy, Daphne laureola (stinky rat food plant – toxic), Himalayan blackberry and Norway maple trees.  These plants support only rats, not native animals. The trees blocked the sun so that even the invasive blackberry died. In the last 2 years Oak Bay Parks staff has removed most of the invasive Norway maple, opening the area up to sunshine.
In November the Willows students, in 28 classes, will be planting 4 Garry oak trees, the “Grandchildren” and over $3000 of native plants in this area.  Oak Bay Parks will dig the 4 holes for the trees on Hallowe’en.   Sally Hallam’s K class 2018-19 raised money from their calendar to pay for the K/1 tree.  Many thanks to those talented students.
Days are:
Tues Nov 5 for Gr 4/5 with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day 9am to 2:45pm
Wed Nov 6 for Gr 2/3  with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day
Thurs Nov 7 for Gr1/K – with 2 classes at the same time for 45 minutes – 10 classes for the day
Fri Nov 8 – with 2 classes in the afternoon from 1:15 to 2:15
Thurs Nov 28 for Gr 2 – 5 with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day.
Thanks to Heather Grant, Sandra Gabaglia, Shari Alexander and Sondra Showers for organizing the classes.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED before the classes start to get instructions:  …parents, grandparents and friends…check your child’s time.
* TO MEET classes on Dorset across from Lincoln, take them to the site, direct them to 2 separate areas and have students put on gloves.   Area 1:  One class will line-up, walk to the tree and put a handful of soil on the tree and then plant native species around the tree; Area 2:  the other class will plant native species in holes in a different specified area.  Classes will then trade areas.  Walk them back and meet the next 2 classes.
*to help students plant around the tree (trowels and plants provided)  and to dig “holes” for the next group.
*to help students plant in the other specified area (trowels and plants provided) and to dig “holes” in this area for the next group.
Thank you to Myles Wardell and his Grade 3 Ecosystem Stars for helping to prepare the area on Thursday for our planting!  Rakes, loppers, a saw and Hori-hori transplanting knives were used safely and effectively.   Thanks also to Oak Bay Parks staff and  Friends of Uplands Park volunteers for past Rake the Chips events.

Oak Bay Tree Appreciation Day: Uplands Pake Sunday Nov 3 10am -1pm

Oak Bay Parks, Recreation & Culture, Friends of Uplands Park and the Oak Bay Community Association invite you to:
Tree Appreciation Day .
Sunday November 3rd
10 am to 1 pm.
Cattle Point Entrance at Uplands Park, Beach Drive in Oak Bay
(remember to put your clocks back).
Community Tree Walk-11:30 am
Uplands Park Tour- 10:30am
Learn about:
Grow the Oaks in Oak Bay Campaign
Tree Display- Right Tree Right Place
Tree Climbing Demonstration
Learn How to Plant Trees Properly
Pest and Disease- Banding Demonstration
Small Tree Pruning Demonstration
Question and Answer Table


The Great Rip Off in Uplands Park. Oct 19 & 20, 2019. 1-4

All invited to The Great Rip Off in Uplands Park. Oct 19 & 20, 2019 from 1-4. Ripping off the English Ivy. Family friendly. Meet at Beach Drive entrance to Cattle Point. Hosted by the Friends of Uplands Park. Tools, gloves, and instructions provided. See poster for details.


Poster by Margaret Lidkea.

Rake the Invasive Norway Maple Chips in Uplands Park – Sunday September 8, 2019 [1 – 3 pm]

Sunday September 8
1 to 3pm
Meet at Dorset entrance by Lincoln Road

Bring your leaf rake and help rake the wood chips of the invasive Norway Maple.  Oak Bay Parks staff removed many of the invasive maples that were totally blocking the sun so that the only plants left alive underneath were the invasive English ivy, evergreen Daphne and Himalayan blackberry.  Even some of the blackberry couldn’t survive.  Habitat for rats.

Willows studentshave been restoring this area by removing ivy and planting native species.  A large meadow awaits more planting by these wonderful students and teachers this fall.  The wood chips will hinder these plants and seeds from growing.

We have some rakes available.
Contact: Margaret Lidkea, 250-595-8084