Margaret Lidkea shows the crow garlic volunteers will start to weed out of Uplands Park. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Crow garlic flies in Oak Bay’s Uplands Park

Invasive plant dimishes camas’ capability to grow

Friends of Uplands Park offers residents an opportunity to enjoy some camaraderie and laughs while helping the endangered Garry oak ecosystem thrive.

Uplands Park boasts one the highest concentrations of endangered plant species in Canada.

It features native plants such as yarrow, California brome, common camas, long-stoloned sedge, field chickweed, California oatgrass, blue wildrye, wild strawberry, Western rush, junegrass, barestem desert-parsley, spring gold, many-flowered wood-rush, graceful cinquefoil, Western buttercup, Pacific sanicle, fool’s onion, Garry oak, black hawthorn and Hooker’s onion.

Crow garlic, native to Europe, is also unfortunately thriving and isn’t even tasty, says Margaret Lidkea, chair of Friends of Uplands Park.

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The bulbs unfortunately grow in thick clusters, hampering the deeper camas bulbs – indigenous to the area and key to the Garry oak ecosystem.

“After we pull them out we put them in great big garbage bags and Oak Bay parks department gathers them up and takes them out to the Saanich incinerator to burn them. Because we do not want this plant growing in your garden or in any natural areas in Victoria,” Lidkea said.

Volunteers can bring gloves, or use the ones on hand. The group also provides garbage bags for each person to pull up crow garlic in the central meadow – home to 17 rare plant species.

Those looking to weed out crow garlic can meet at the Beach Drive entrance near the Uplands Park sign. Join the Friends on Tuesday July 13 and Thursday July 15 from 10 a.m. to noon to battle crow garlic.

Visit visit to learn more about ongoing work in the park.

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READ ALSO: Uplands neighbourhood designated a national historic site

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