UVic Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration Project

Three people crouched in a meadow digging in the ground to plant plants. There is soil scattered around them.
Volunteers partake in restoration activities at the UVic Garry Oak Meadow.
Project name:

UVic Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration Plan

Project cost:


Money awarded:


Project leaders:

Larissa Bron (student)

Janey Thomas (student)


Completed November, 2022


Campus Sustainability Fund Final Report

UVic Garry Oak Restoration Plan 2020

Species and Ecological Communities of the UVic Campus

Project summary

The aim of this student-led project was to restore the UVic Garry Oak Meadow ecosystem through participation efforts from the UVic Ecological Restoration Club (ERC). Restoration activities were based on a 5-year plan for the site created by project leader, Larissa Bron. The overarching restoration goal of this project was to support the understory plant community, while also connecting students with experiential learning opportunities within the campus living laboratory, and provide a node for the greater community to engage with UVic's sustainable programming.

The project executed multiple invasive species management trials in a conservation-concern ecosystem on campus. A tool respository was developed with equipment to empower the UVic Ecological Restoration Club (UVic ERC) to continue restoration efforts after the project end date. 

The project has involved at least 20 students in higher-level planning and monitoring for the project, as well as hundreds of people participating in implementing restoration techniques. 

To join the restoration club for campus restoration events, you can email

You can also help contribute to long-term monitoring by joining the UVic Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration iNaturalist project.

Summary of success

The overarching restoration goal was to support the understory plant community that provides ecosystem structure and composition. This was achieved by:

  • Surpressing invasive plants

    More than 17,500 m2 of invasive plants, such as snowberry, English ivy, daphne, and grasses, have been removed. Diffuse plants such as Scotch broom and Queen Anne's lace have also been removed from the main meadow area. 

  • Increasing the diversity and abundance of meadow plants

    More than 30 species of native plants have been added to the restoration site (both seeds and starts), including those from the UVic ERC's student-led Native Plant Nursery. Successful plantings have been observed for camas, wooly sunflower, white brodiaea, columbia brome, and California oat grass. UVic Facilities Management has also altered mowing scheduled to promote the flowering and seed set for plants like camas to improve the natural seed bank on site.

  • Decreasing trampling and soil compaction

    While a change in recreational use has not been directly observed, over 700 people have participated in restoration activities that include education regarding the conservation value of the Campus GOE. Increasing awareness of the area as a culterly and ecologically important place is  likely to contribute to decreased recreational misuse of the area.

  • Increasing community engagement

    Multiple community members have participated in restoration events with positive feedback and collaborations with community partners are ongoing. Students from multiple faculities including: math, psychology, engineering, and physics have participated in events, contributing to a growing a dynamic and robust volunteer base (and over 1200 volunteer hours). The Campus GOE has become a destination for hands-on campus field trips, including recurring semesterly visits from ES 341 and GEOG 209.