Celebrate Parks Day in Uplands Park – Saturday July 21-2018 – Join FOUP at 10:00AM for a Ramble

Healthy by Nature
Saturday July 21
10 am
Meet at the Beach Drive entrance to Uplands Park

Join Friends of Uplands Parkfor a gentle ramble through the endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem. Although many plants are now sleeping, the golden grass, camas seed pods and orchids are a wonderful place to find grasshoppers and other insects. Find out how Oak Bay Parks and the Friends are restoring the park to a healthier natural area, better for the native plants, animals and our community. Support the NATUREHOOD!



Margaret Lidkea, Chair of Friends of Uplands Park sends a heartfelt thanks. We all owe Margaret and Amanda (Greater Victoria Green Team) a huge THANK YOU for their work in planning and coordinating this very successful event .  [Photos will be available in a few days.]

Here is Margaret’s thank you:


Thank you to Mayor Nils Jensen and Parks representative, Hazel Braithwaite for opening words and to the Oak Bay Council, Oak Bay Parks Recreation and Culture Commission and Oak Bay Parks Manager, Chris Hyde-lay, for their permission and all their support.  Also attending were Councillors Michelle Kirby, Tara Ney and Kevin Murdoch and Commissioners Matt Fairbarns and Suzanne Weckend-Dill.

Partnering with Amanda Evans, leader of the Greater Victoria Green Team was absolutely the best!  We enjoyed every thing we did together.  Having her Green Team at Uplands Park events is also so much fun. By using social media so much, she brings in new volunteers of all ages, especially the young teaching them to love their Naturehood. 
The Bald Eagles were excellent…their music providing a sense of joy, a rhythm to the afternoon and happiness in everyone’s soul.
Thanks to my incredible Friends of Uplands Park Steering Committee, Chris H-L, Ron, Chris G, Elizabeth, Anna, Cathy, Wylie, Matt and Rick who always “steer me in a corrected direction” and who were responsible for their own areas.  Thanks to Kathleen Matthews for being our Social Media Manager and photographer and to Ida Spader for helping with family activities.  Thanks to all who set up, took down and hosted tables.
Thanks to our families…Tom, Eric, Jorey and T.J. for doing whatever they were asked.
Thank you to the leaders of our Wildflower Walks, Matt Fairbarns and Wylie Thomas and to the leaders of the Bird Walk, Geoffrey, Jean and David Newell.
Thanks to Oak Bay News for their excellent article,  recording interviews at the event and for their continued support of community events.
Thanks to the partners who created displays and activities and to their hosts:
Parks Canada – Fort Rodd Hill
CRD Bowker Creek Initiative
OB Artists Community Society
OB Heritage Commission
Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Orca Whale Awareness
Nature Kids for removing ivy and growing and planting baby fawn lilies
We were sorry that HAT and Nature Conservancy of Canada were unable to come at the last moment
Thanks to all the organizations that provided food:
Thrifty’s – $400 including a cake  and 3 tents!
Dominos on Foul Bay near OB Avenue provided 40 large pizzas!
Fairways on OB Avenue
Save On Foods on Fort Street
COBS Bread Hillside for scones
Hide + Seek Coffee on OB Avenue for coffee
Starbucks on OB Avene for coffee
Everything was eaten!!!
Thanks to all the organizations that donated prizes:
Dig it – Handwear
Friends of Uplands Park
GardenWorks OB Avenue
Greater Victoria Green Team
Hide + Seek Coffee OB Avenue
If You Care Products
I.O.N. Clothing, Government St.
Ivy’s Bookshop OB Avenue
LUSH Soap Government St.
Mason Street Farm
Nicholas Randall OB Avenue
Oak Bay Recreation Centre
Oak Bay Flower Shop OB Avenue
Penny Farthing Olde English Pub
Rogers’ Tudor Sweet Shop OB Avenue
Saanich Native Plants on Haliburton Rd
Serious Coffee OB Avenue
The Soap Exchange Hillside Ave
Township of Esquimalt
and to Home Hardware, OB Avenue for tool discounts throughout the year.
We can thank them best by being their customers!
Margaret Lidkea, Chair of Friends of Uplands Park
Camas Blossom: Photo by Kathleen Matthews


Leprechauns & Friends Celebrate Green in Uplands Park – March 17-2018

A green treasure hunt for shamrocks, eye spying for green plants along the trails, making green chia animals, and a pot of gold  .. all part of the St. Patrick’s Day family event hosted by the Friends of Uplands Park in Uplands Park on March 17-2018. A wonderful turnout and Chief Leprechaun (Margaret Lidkea, Chair, Friends of Uplands Park) shared fun activities and plant lore with so many leprechauns, big and small.

Photos by Kathleen Matthews.

FOUP’s “No Ivy League” is participating in the regional #Meadow Marathon. Volunteers welcome. Prizes too!

The Friends of Uplands Park is participating in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s #MEADOW MARATHON. The NCC Garry Oak Meadow Marathon is taking place during February at several sites in Greater Victoria and Duncan and volunteers are invited to help with the removal of invasive plants and the planting of native species. Participate in 3 events and your name will be entered to win PRIZES!!! See the #MEADOW MARATHON website for locations and times: http://www.natureconservancy.ca/meadowmarathon

FOUP’s “No Ivy League” is part of the #MEADOW MARATHON, and happens every Sunday from 1 to 3 pm. Meet at the kiosks on Cattle Point near the ocean.

See also the article in Times Colonist about Garry Oak Meadow Marathon (Sunday February 11, 2018 Page D9 ). Web link at http://www.timescolonist.com/life/islander/our-community-get-garry-oak-meadows-ready-for-spring-1.23170402

Ivy on Garry Oaks in Uplands Park [Photo Credit: Kathleen Matthews]

Friends of Uplands Park “No Ivy League” Resumes February 4-2018

The Friends of Uplands Park’s very committed No Ivy League group resumes it’s weekly weekend invasive removal work on Sunday, February 4, 2018 from 1 – 3pm.  The goal is to focus primarily on the removal ivy and other invasive plants from Uplands Park and Cattle Point and these weekly sessions are making a difference.  Please join us in this work. Tools and gloves are provided as well as the opportunity for learning best practices. Meet at the Cattle Point kiosks at the parking lot area down near the water.

Invitation to Help Plant Native Species – Uplands Park – Sunday Dec 3-2017 from 1:00 – 3:00pm

Invitation to help plant native species in Uplands Park in areas where invasive plants have been removed. Meet at the Uplands Park sign on Beach Drive on Sunday December 3-2017 fro 1 to 3pm. A variety of native species will be planted and seeds will be scattered in areas being restored. Tools, kneeling pads, instructions and refreshments provided for volunteers.

Restoration of Uplands Park: Update and Community Conversation (Hosted by FOUP and Oak Bay Parks)

FOUP Restoration POster Oct 5-2017

Poster created by Margaret Lidkea, Chair, Friends of Uplands Park.

PDF of Poster: 2017 Oct 5 RESTORATION in UPLANDS PARKpsterjpeg

Thursday Oct 5, 2017
7 to 9pm
Windsor Park Pavilion, Oak Bay Uplands

Park is an incredible place. Within its 31 hectares are found 24 endangered species of plants, one of the highest concentrations in Canada and one of the best examples of a Garry Oak associated ecosystem in our region. Since 2014, Wylie Thomas has been managing a project to help restore the park’s endangered ecosystems and protect critical habitat for its rare species.

The project, which receives support from the federal Habitat Stewardship Program, has focused on the removal of invasive shrubs and trees. It also includes a component to formalize trails and improve signage to help reduce the impact of recreational use on the park’s natural values. Wylie will present on the work done to date and discuss activities planned for the years ahead including the challenges of balancing recreational use of the park with protecting its natural beauty.

The second half of the program will be open for comments from you and others about these challenges, some possible solutions and compromises.

Please bring your ideas and enthusiasm for a healthy discussion about trails, dogs, human use, invasive removal and other ideas.

Refreshments served. Donations to Friends of Uplands Park are very welcome.

Contact: Margaret Lidkea 250-595-8084; FOUP partners with Oak Bay Parks friendsofuplandspark.org

Friends of Uplands Park – October 2017 Events

Sunday Oct 1  1 to 3pm   NO IVY LEAGUE 
Join the Friends of Uplands Park each Sunday to remove English ivy.  Removal of this highly invasive plant will help to restore the globally endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem of the park, and to protect the 24 rare plants.  Tools, gloves and the Best Practices instruction are provided. Meet at Cattle Pt, near the kiosks.
Thursday Oct 5 7 to 9pm Windsor Pavilion at Windsor Park in Oak Bay RESTORATION IN UPLANDS PARK  Wylie Thomas, Steering Committee member, will give an excellent power point presentation of the invasive plant management in this special urban park with 24 rare plants, an endangered ecosystem and the recreational use of the community.  He will focus on what has been done, and what he hopes will happen in the next year or so.  The second half of the program allows the audience to participate to share their concerns about some of the challenges in the park, so people should bring their enthusiastic ideas, possible solutions and compromises.  Refreshments.  Donations to Friends of Uplands Park appreciated.
Sunday Oct 8  1 to 3pm   NO IVY LEAGUE 
Join the Friends of Uplands Park each Sunday to remove English ivy.  Removal of this highly invasive plant will help to restore the globally endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem of the park, and to protect the 24 rare plants.  Tools, gloves and the Best Practices instruction are provided. Meet at Cattle Pt, near the kiosks.
Sat Oct 14 and Sun Oct 15 1 to 4pm. ANNUAL IVY BROOM BASH  Join Friends of Uplands Park to remove a variety of alien invasive plants.  Meet at the Information table on the field at the entrance to Cattle Point.  Sign-in and become a Friend too.  All tools, gloves and instructions are given.  Refreshments.   This is an excellent family and student opportunity.
Sunday Oct 22  1 to 3pm   NO IVY LEAGUE 
Join the Friends of Uplands Park each Sunday to remove English ivy.  Removal of this highly invasive plant will help to restore the globally endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem of the park, and to protect the 24 rare plants.  Tools, gloves and the Best Practices instruction are provided. Meet at Cattle Pt, near the kiosks.
Saturday Oct 28 8am BIRDING IN UPLANDS PARK  Meet Geoffrey Newell at Cattle Point for a gentle ramble through the park, noting new arrivals for winter.  Dress for the weather, bring binoculars.  Free.
Sunday Oct 29  1 to 3pm   NO IVY LEAGUE 
Join the Friends of Uplands Park each Sunday to remove English ivy.  Removal of this highly invasive plant will help to restore the globally endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem of the park, and to protect the 24 rare plants.  Tools, gloves and the Best Practices instruction are provided. Meet at Cattle Pt, near the kiosks.

From Margaret Lidkea, FOUP Chair.

Uplands Park April 22-2017 Earth Day BioBlitz Featured In Oak Bay News

“Oak Bay bio-blitzed to Celebrate Earth Day: Bioblitz highlights diversity, fragility of life” by Tim Collins

Published in Oak Bay News. Full article available online
Published Online: Monday, April 17,2017. Published in Print: Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Page A3.

Article Excerpts:

In Canada, 2017 will feature 35 official bioblitz events as part of the nation’s sesquicentennial

Not to be left out, Victoria will join the movement on Earth Day, April 22 in a bioblitz to catalogue the ecosystems and adjacent habitats of Upland’s Park, Beacon Hill Park and the University of Victoria campus

.… “We’re very excited about the event. It’s so important for people to get outdoors and develop a sense of place…an understanding of where we live and all the wonders surrounding us,” said Margaret Lidkea, the Chair of Friends of Uplands Park, one of the organizations contributing to make the event possible.

…. Her organization will have volunteers at Upland’s Park to help guide volunteers through the trails and to help safeguard some of the more rare species already known to exist in the park.

…. The blitz runs for 24 hours as experts work around the clock (from 6 pm on April 21 to 6 pm on April 22) to identify as many species as possible. For the general public, the action starts at 9 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. on April 22 when they are invited to join guided tours at all three sites. The public is encouraged to make notes and take photos of the species they encounter to add to the inventory.

….. In addition consulting with to the on-site experts, participants are encouraged to use their smart phones to document the plants, insects, birds, mammals, and every living thing and upload the photos to iNaturalist.org, an organization founded at UC Berkeley to develop a living history of life on earth.

…. Dr. Valentin Schaefer, the chair of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT), heads up another of the partners in the bioblitz project. He said the project is critical in places like Uplands Park.

…. More information in the bioblitz is available at bioblitzcanada.ca.