In 2006, GWI members were approached by the management board of Point Ellice House, a BC Heritage Site on the Gorge Waterway, to plan and undertake a major restoration project along the shoreline. English ivy, periwinkle and other invasive plants had spread into the wooded shoreline area from the formal gardens, blanketing the understory and climbing up most of the large trees. The management of Point Ellice House wanted to restore the shoreline area to the original native woodland that would have thrived there around the 1870s.

Planning for this major restoration project began in 2007, and the restoration continued with monthly work parties until completion in October 2014. 3,000 hours of volunteer labour have resulted in removal of over 25 tonnes of invasive plants (primarily English ivy and periwinkle) from the shoreline area, and replacement with 950 native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses. The Greater Victoria Green Team provided much needed help at the end of this project, view their photos and report.

Read the final report in the sidebar link on the right.Volunteers planting native plants at the Point Ellice Woodland Shore Restoration along the Gorge Waterway

The PEH Shoreline Restoration site is located on a steeply sloped natural shoreline with pocket beaches and rocky outcrops along the Gorge Waterway. This site is a unique remnant natural ecosystem of the Gorge that stretches 150m along the shoreline. The site supports a diversity of habitats for native flora and fauna, including a stand of mature arbutus, Douglas-fir and big leaf maple forest. The marine shore and woodland area were heavily overgrown with invasive plants that threatened the link between terrestrial and marine habitat. Dense mats of ivy overhung the shoreline, crowding out marine grasses and compromising the stability of the clay banks. This resulted in loss of habitat diversity and compromised the ecological functioning of the site.

Volunteers from Sea Scouts, schools, service clubs, corporate groups, Greater Victoria Green Team and the community have come to the site over the years to pull ivy and other invasive plants, spread mulch and replant with native vegetation. A huge Thank You to all our many dedicated volunteers for a project well done!

Project Supporters

The Gorge Waterway Initiative thanks the following groups for their support of the Point Ellice House Woodland Shore Restoration Project:

St. Michael's University School
  • student volunteers each year
Esquimalt High School
  • student volunteers
Walmart-Evergreen Green Grant
  • native plants, interpretive signage
Diageo Canada - Evergreen National Tree Planting Program
  • 160 native trees and shrubs, equipment, corporate volunteers
Ellice Recycling
  • removal and disposal of invasive plant material
  • corporate volunteers