Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary

A wild oasis and rocky, oak-forested highlands in an urban landscape.

logo1) Who are you?

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a non-profit society, a wild oasis in the heart of the urban landscape and includes two distinct ecosystems: the beautiful marshland of Swan Lake and the rocky, oak-forested highlands of Christmas Hill. Both are home to an incredible array of native plants and wild animals.

2) What does your group do?

The Sanctuary is a living classroom fostering an understanding and appreciation of nature through direct experiences. Educational programs for all ages encourage responsibility for the care and protection of the natural environment. We provide a diverse and enriching experience with a focus on natural history, education and ecological restoration to inspire personal action in stewardship activities. We welcome you to explore and discover.

3) When does your group meet? Please include board meetings.

Restoration work takes place 9am to 11am every Tuesday morning. Native plant gardening takes place Thursday mornings from 9am to 11am. Board meetings are typically held ten times a year, and the AGM is usually held in April. Join our mailing list to receive meeting updates, community event details and volunteer work-party invitations!

4) What is your geographical jurisdiction with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is located in the District of Saanich, near the city of Victoria, Canada. Surrounded by a developed urban area, Swan Lake is an oasis of natural beauty only minutes from downtown Victoria. Swan Creek flows from Swan Lake into Colquitz. This urban refuge provides an exceptional opportunity to bring people and nature together in the natural heart of the community. See map.

5) What projects have you accomplished with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

The main focus of work with respect to the Colquitz watershed stem is invasive species removal complementing the Swan Lake Ecosystem Management Plan published, in 2010 by Lise Townsend.

The plan lists six goals:

1. Manage ecosystems at the site scale to preserve and restore natural processes and function, and to enable resilience to disturbance (including climate change).
2. Work with municipal managers, developers and major landowners in the watershed to implement watershed policies and practices to improve hydrology and water quality.
3. Engage local public, politicians and business in protection, stewardship and restoration of Swan Lake and associated ecosystems.
4. Provide opportunities and resources for learning and education.
5. Support and engage in research, and effectively manage / archive data that contributes to better understanding of Swan Lake and the surrounding watershed, and connections with local and regional health and sustainability.
6. Provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy a healthy and safe environment in a manner that supports other management goals.

6) What are your current projects with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

Most of our projects are ongoing; see #5 above.

7) How can others participate in your groups’ projects? Are there any requirements?

We welcome the participation of individuals, corporations, community groups, and others in our collaborative projects! We recognize that volunteers play a key role at SLCHNS contributing in many ways: participating in invasive species removal, plantings, stream rebuilding, becoming board members, etc. We invite you to become a volunteer and/or become a member of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society ($35 annual membership fee).

8) How is your group funded?

We are funded in a variety of ways including but not limited to:

-District of Saanich, management fee
-Provincial and Federal funding
-Memberships
-Donations
-Foundations
-Community Organizations
-Businesses
-Individuals

9) Contact Phone and Address

3873 Swan Lake Victoria, B.C. Canada, V8X 3W1

(250) 479-0211