Hilary Blackman worked in and around her hometown of Nanaimo this summer, tackling conservation assignments as part of the Nature Trust of B.C.’s Vancouver Island Conservation Youth Crew.
According to a press release, the non-profit nature trust hires young people from across the province each summer and they are tasked with performing on-the-ground work and attending workshops from specialists on a number of topics including, bird counts and forest ecology.
“My favourite activity is checking the tree swallow nest boxes at Dinsdale Farm in Cowichan,” said Blackman. “It’s so fun to see the eggs turn into little pink chicks and then into fledglings. The tree swallow acrobatics are awesome to see on a sunny day on the farm.”
But Blackman also had to take part in work that wasn’t as enjoyable as the nest boxes.
“The most difficult thing I’ve had to do this summer is wrestle purple loosestrife out of Buttertubs Marsh,” Blackman said. “The air was hot and stagnant, the purple loosestrife did not want to come out of the ground, and I was slowly sinking into the marsh.”
Blackman also said crews “added non-slip mesh to the boardwalk trails” at Lazo Conservation area in Comox.
The trust also had crews working in the Lower Mainland, south Okanagan and East Kootenays.
Blackman’s future plans include graduating with a bachelor of natural resource protection this year from Vancouver Island University.