Garry Oak

A significant Garry Oak tree or Garry Oak meadow.

Garry oak is the only native oak species in British Columbia. Garry oak woodlands depend on disturbance to prevent their being overtaken by Douglas-fir. Deliberate burning was widely practiced by the First Nations people of the area. Fire perpetuated the grasslands that produced food plants such as camas, chocolate lily, bracken fern, and oak; and that provided grazing and easy hunting for deer and elk.

For more information visit the Garry oak ecosystems recovery team (GOERT)

With Garry Oak ecosystems only existing in about 5% of the areas it once was, restoration projects are vital for the protection and rejuvenation of the most biologically diverse (and stunning!) ecosystem in British Columbia.

The Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration Team (GOERT) is also involved in restoration projects in the region. Get involved!



Knockan Hill Park

Knockan Hill park covers about 12 hectares of Garry Oak woodlands, rocky outcrops and Douglas-fir forest. The park straddles the Saanich and View Royal municipal boundaries on the outskirts of Victoria B.C. and the hill overlooks the Portage Inlet. Knockan Hill is home to a wide range of birds, butterflies, blacktailed deer and is a favourite destination for neighbourhood kids and dogs.

This 2.4 acre property in Esquimalt contains Victoria harbour's last patch of rare and endangered Garry oak ecosystems. The property has more than a hundred oak trees - some of them were already centuries old when Sir Douglas decided to put Fort Victoria here!

Oak Haven Municipal Park is a 10-hectare rocky outcrop of endangered Garry Oak and associated ecosystems. Unique and beautiful, Garry Oak ecosystems are considered one of the three most threatened in Canada. In one of the first conservation covenants to be registered on public land in British Columbia, the District of Central Saanich has permanently protected Oak Haven Park. Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) and The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) jointly hold responsibility for monitoring and enforcing this covenant....

Playfair is a well hidden, yet easily accessible park within Saanich. It is home to beautifully landscaped gardens, most notably a dense, walkable maze of azaleas and rhododendrons that comes to life in with an explosion of all colours in the spring.

Planting of the gardens began in the 1950s, with species and hybrids of rhododendrons, azaleas, and scores of other plants being donated by nurseries and arboretums. The park also has a playground, benches, paved or gravel walkways, and is a popular destination for dog walkers.

An undeveloped natural area in the heart of a residential neighbourhood, the site was planned for development but was then purchased by Oak Bay in 1946.  Uplands Park contains walking trails, a beach access, park benches, a boat ramp, and a War Memorial.  The park also contains many examples of Garry oak meadow ecosystems and also has a high concentration of rare plant species.  Organizations like the Friends of the Uplands Park host regular Garry oak ecosystem restoration events.

Explore more icons