RRU students restoring rare ecosystem
Students from Royal Roads’ Bachelor of Business Administration and International year two programs gathered at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site last weekend to support efforts to conserve Garry Oak habitats. Working with a Parks Canada biologist, the students participated in removing invasive plant species from the Fort Rodd Hill site, which is home to a significant Garry Oak ecosystem.
Garry oaks are rare in Canada—found only on southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and two locations in the southern mainland. Garry Oak ecosystems are home to thousands of species—more than 100 of which are at risk. But, according to Parks Canada, less than 5% of original Garry Oak habitats on Vancouver Island remain intact today, due to human development. And those that remain are currently threatened by encroachment of invasive species, like daphne, Scotch broom and English ivy.
RRU students joined other parks volunteers to pull, dig and clip invasive daphne from the fort’s lands while, at the same time, learning about Garry Oak habitats and the plants, animals and insect species that depend on them. RRU’s student contribution to the project was organized as part of the BBA Service initiative—a project intended to connect BBA students with service learning opportunities in areas related to environmental and social sustainability.