We value the generous contribution of time, effort and skills made by everyday Canadians just like you. We invite you to share in our work, get behind the scenes, learn something new and make a difference. See below for ways you can get involved.

Ecosystem restoration | Other Parks Canada opportunities

Ecosystem restoration

Garry Oak Ecosystems Restoration Project


Parks Canada beaver logo. Parkscanada.gc.ca

Hello, bonjour. My name is Aimee Pelletier. I’m a Resource Management Officer with Parks Canada.

That’s my official title but I’m actually the project manager

for the Garry Oak Ecosystem and Species at Risk Recovery Project here at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site.

Close-up stand up interview with Aimee. Aimee walking through the garden.

Close-up stand up interview with Susan. interview introduction

My name is Susan Macisaac and I’m the Species at Risk Communications Officer here at Fort Rodd Hill and

Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada.

Wide shot of plants in buckets.

This program has been running for about the last ten years.

Close-up of leaves on plant.

Medium-close shot Parks Canada staff and volunteer planting.

Close-up shot of volunteer putting hand in plant bucket and wiping gloves together.

Back to Aimee interview

It started out with one Co-op student and since that time, we’ve had about thirty Co-op students assist with the program.

It started out just running during the summers and now the program runs year round.

Extreme close-up of volunteer digging in dirt with gloves

Some of the kinds of work that we do are controlling invasive species.

Medium-close shot of volunteer/staff's feet holding a torch aimed to the ground.

Extreme close-up of flame from torch setting on the ground

Wide-shot of volunteer/staff with torch. Feet-head camera pan.

So non-native species across the 54 hectres that Parks Canada owns and safeguards here at Fort Rodd Hill.

We grow a lot of- about 30 different species of forbes, shrubs and annules.

Close-up shot of flowers.

Medium-wide shot of flowers with garden houses in background

Currently growing in the nursery, we have about 100,000 great camas bulbs as well as a number of common camas bulbs

Close-up shot of camas bulbs being held in hands.

A lot of these plants are actually going to be planted out in what we call our Meadow Restoration Project.

One Parks Canada staff and two volunteers digging through garden bed.

It’s a new project that started in 2010. It’s right in the heart of the historic site.

Group of volunteers planting and digging in grass field.

The objective is to restore one acre of what was previously Garry Oak habitat back to native species cover.

Medium-close shot of hummingbird landing on a flower

These ecosystems have always been a really big part of the history of the Fort here.

Medium-close shot of robin pecking at dirt

When the Fort was first being built a lot of effort was made to keep a lot of the natural areas intact

including the Garry Oak ecosystems.

Back to Susan Interview

And so, that’s why today, we still see a lot of them here.

It’s because of those unintentional conservation tactics of the Fort at that time.

Medium-Close shot of volunteer with red jacket planting.

We get a lot of volunteers that help us with this restoration work as well.

Close-up shot of Parks Canada staff drilling a screw into a wood garden wall.

Medium-close shot of Parks Canada staff talking with a volunteer.

The volunteers that come in, they’re really like the heart and soul of our restoration work

And it’s great because together we’re kind of working to improve the health of these ecosystems

Medium-close shot of white and purple flowers, grass, and trees in background.

And it’s also great because it’s reconnecting us, ourselves, back to nature as well.

Parks Canada logo.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2014.

Canada wordmark.

Parks Canada is restoring endangered Garry oak ecosystems at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site by removing invasive plants and replacing them with the native species that are normally found there. Plants such as Scotch broom and spurge-laurel were introduced from other parts of the world and compete with native plants for important habitat. They often win out unless they are kept in check.

Learn more about battling invasive species in Garry Oak ecosystems.

Who we're looking for

  • You are enthusiastic about nature/gardening and enjoy spending time outside
  • You like working as part of a team and are willing to learn.
  • You have a reasonable degree of fitness.

What you’ll be doing

  • Pulling weeds out of the ground by hand.
  • Using small hand tools such as loppers.
  • Sorting and planting Camas bulbs and seedlings.

How you’ll make a difference

You will contribute to Parks Canada’s important work to restore some of the rarest ecosystems in Canada, which are home to more than 100 rare and endangered plant and animal species.

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn about Garry oak ecosystems and native plant species.
  • Gain valuable field experience and build your resume.
  • Meet like-minded people.

Time commitment

Work takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Here are upcoming dates for 2017:

  • September 30
  • October 14
  • November 4 & 18
  • December 9

For more information email or call us at 250-812-8133.

Other Parks Canada opportunities

For information on opportunities at other Parks Canada places on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and across the country, click on the links below.