Haliburton Urban Biodiversity Project

Goal 1: Preserve and restore the natural areas within the farm area.

Goal 2: Enhance biodiversity features within the farmed and natural areas of the property.

Goal 3: Develop the site as demonstration and teaching site for urban biodiversity enhancement techniques.

This meadow, once broom and non-native grasses, has been planted with native species by volunteers with the Haliburton Biodiversity Project​

One of the primary tenets of Haliburton Community Organic Farm is that small scale, organic farming is compatible with maintaining and restoring ecosystem health.  The farm is a demonstration site, not only for organic and sustainable farming practices, but also for ecosystem restoration.

The Haliburton Biodiversity Project includes a group of volunteers that have been working since 2007  to restore wetland, meadow, and forest habitat at Haliburton Farm.  They also work towards enhancing the ecological value within food production areas of the farm by planting native plants, and installing bird boxes and native bee cavities.

The centrepiece of the Haliburton Urban Biodiversity Project is the restoration of a degraded wetland and meadow that began in 2009. Starting with a monoculture of non-native reed canarygrass, they have been rebuilding a diverse wetland that now teams with aquatic insects, frogs, swallows, garter snakes, and the occasional salamander. Around the wetland they are restoring  the kind of meadows that once covered large parts of the Victoria area.

This initiative provides a demonstration area to learn about the characteristic habitats, plants, and animals of the region.  The Haliburton Urban Biodiversity Project  is a model for restoration techniques that can be used to enhance habitat values on a variety of lands.

    Monthly Volunteer Workparties!

Please visit our facebook page for workparty announcements or email to be added to the listserve.

Join us for a volunteering opportunity that will help you learn about the plants, animals, and ecology of southern Vancouver Island!

The Haliburton Biodiversity Project includes a diverse network of volunteers who work in a wetland and meadow at Haliburton Farm doing a variety of restoration activities like planting native plants, removing invasive species, and monitoring for wildlife. We are passionate about enhancing and conserving biodiversity on farmlands.


The restored wet meadow  from non-native invasive Reed Canary grass.

Pacific Chorus Frogs breed in the wetland and are found throughout the farm. Other species like garter snakes, swallows, and dozens of native bee species help with pest control and pollination. Photo: Elmarie Roberts

Interested in a Tour?

Schedule a tour to learn about biodiversity and restoration techniques!

We host classes and groups of all ages.

Biologist Purnima Govindarajulu, who is one of the project leaders, shows a Red-Backed Salamander to volunteers

Camas harvest with students from LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School.

Volunteers monitoring for frogs, salamanders, and aquatic insects

Volunteers monitoring for frogs, salamanders, and aquatic insects

Please contact us at . Guided tours for groups and individuals are available.

How Did We Build a Wetland?


The Wetland Turns 10!

Thank you to all who celebrated with us on Saturday June 29th for the  10th anniversary of the constructed wetland and meadow at Haliburton Farm! Read here from PCAF who has graciously supported our work

Garry Oak Meadow Marathon

Thanks to everyone who came out on February 2nd to the Meadow Marathon at Haliburton Farm! Throughout February and March, The Nature Conservancy of Canada has partnered with parks and conservation groups across southern Vancouver Island hosting volunteer events focused on Garry oak ecosystems. The events are meant to raise awareness and support restoration efforts of the unique and sensitive Garry oak habitats of southern Vancouver Island.

To learn more about events through February and March visit:…/garry-oak-meadow-marathon…

Be sure to check out the event on Sunday, March 10 at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in Duncan for a free conservation workshop on restoring and maintaining Garry oak habitats.

Saanich’s Biodiversity Conservation Award

Congratulations to Purnima Govindarajulu! She was awarded Saanich’s Biodiversity Conservation Award in 2016. This award highlights her work with the Haliburton Biodiversity Project. Purnima initiated this project in 2007 and since has been an integral and crucial part of its success. Not only has she contributed thousands of hours over the past 8 years in the forms of advice, guidance, and techniques for wildlife stewardship best practices, she has also given her time to ensure that volunteers feel empowered and appreciated. We are all pleased that she has been offered this award. She deserves it!

HAT’s Native Plant Garden Tour was a HIT!

Paige from the Habitat Acquisition Trust giving a tour

The Habitat Acquisition Trust Native Plant Garden Tour on Sunday May 1st saw more than 100 visitors to the farm. Haliburton Biodiversity Volunteers provided tours to the wetland and meadow restoration area and other naturescaping features around the farm.

Plants, Foods, and Medicines of the Saanich Peninsula

Sunday, July 23rd 2017. 10am-12pm

Join W̱SÁNEĆ and Ahousat Nation ethnobotanist, storyteller, and knowledge keeperJohn-Bradley Williams at Haliburton Farm on Sunday July 23rd for a summer walk & talk focused on native plants, ecology, and traditional foods. We will be looking at plants within the Saanich Native Plants nursery as well as the Camas meadow, wetland, and forest at Haliburton Farm.

*BY DONATION* (suggested $10)
Thank you for your support PCAF!

We would like to send a huge thank you to the Public Conservation Assistance Fund (PCAF) for their support for the past three years. PCAF has helped enhance meadow and wetland habitat on the farm through the planting of native species, supporting volunteers, and helping  purchase materials.

Did you know volunteers with the project donate more than 3000 hours of their time each year?!

LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School camas harvest

We are thrilled to have hosted students from LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School for a camas harvest in May. These bulbs were pit cooked to help the kids re-connect with their food traditions. Elder John Elliot, and teachers Pena Elliot, Berkeley Lott, and Judith Arney described to students the importance of this staple that has nourished local people for thousands of years and is a critical part of food security in our region.