Weeding in the Willows School Restoration Area in Uplands Park. Sundays August 9, 16, 23 from 10 – 12 noon.

Volunteers invited to weed in the Willows School Restoration Area in Uplands Park. Details in poster.
Sundays August 9, 16, 23 from 10 – 12 noon.
Bring your own gloves and trowels, or use our gloves and knives to help dig up invasive baby Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom and Daphne plants. We will each be in our own safe area…at least 2 meters apart. Meet at Dorset entrance near Beach Drive at 10 am or follow the flags.
Please email Margaret at mlidkea@shaw.ca if you are coming.

Updated: A Week of Weeding in Uplands Park in the Willows School Restoration Area starting Thursday July 23rd.

A Week of Weeding in Uplands Park in the Willows School Restoration Area: 10 – 12 noon: on Thursday, July 23rd; Sunday July 26th [corrected date]; Monday, July 27th; Thursday, July 30th; Friday, July 31st. Meet at Dorset entrance at 10am or follow the flags. Please email mlidkea@shaw.ca if you will be participating. More details in the Poster. [This posts and new poster  corrects a date that was in error in the previous poster.]


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

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 friendsofuplandspark.org.Partnering 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 https://www.oakbaynews.com/community/willows-students-help-put-2500-native-plants-into-oak-bays-uplands-park/

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

Photos Courtesy of Oak Bay News.

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.

Focus on Crow Garlic in Uplands Park & Cattle Point – Invading the Meadows

Update from Margaret Lidkea :


Crow garlic is invading the meadows of Uplands Park.  The garlic bulbs, not tasty, are crowding out bulbs and roots of native plants.  The bulbs produce bulblets and the flowers make seeds and bulblets.  Nothing eats it.
This is an extremely invasive plant.  It probably arrived in Victoria from Europe or Asia accidentally with other seeds.

No strategies for removal have been developed.  An experimental removal of the plant in Uplands Park by pulling it up in June to get the main bulb has resulted in fewer and smaller plants.

Last year many plants were pulled on Cattle Point and in the central meadow.  In 2019 plants were again removed.  Volunteers have been essential do this time consuming removal.

University of Victoria international students from the City University of Hong Kong have helped in both areas.  Many thanks to them and volunteers, Felicity Bradley, Betty Thacker, Ryan Blacoe, Ron Carter, Jacquie Bird, Famiko Yamaguchi, Nick Blumberg and Conway Carruthers for 18 hours of work.  Margaret has also removed it from Cattle Point for over 15 hours.

Cattle Point maritime meadows and rocky areas are virtually free of crow garlic plants.  Shrubby areas are still full of it.   Alas not all bulbs are able to be pulled because of the clay soil and the compaction of the soil by so many visitors over the years.  Visitors should consider rock hopping.


You can join the Friends of Uplands Park on days that are arranged, or contact Margaret to arrange your own date with permission.   People that are pulling crow garlic and leaving it in piles are really distributing seeds and bulblets and more invasive plants

Remember you can help by joining Friends of Uplands Park.


Friends of Uplands Park Society Garry Oak Meadow Marathon – Sundays 1-3pm – February through March

The Friends of Uplands Park Society is participating, with groups across southern Vancouver Island, in a Garry Oak Meadow Marathon, and is hosting volunteer events Sundays [1-3pm] in February & March, starting Feb3-2019. Tools, instruction, and refreshments provided. Meet at Cattle Point in Uplands Park. More info on the attached photo and more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Marathon initiative at natureconservancy.ca/meadowmarathon