Birding and Plant Identification at Somenos Marsh!

Event Details

October 9th, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Somenos Marsh, British Columbia
Habitat Restoration

NCC is a long time partner in the collective management of the Somenos Marsh Conservation area that includes the Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area. The Open Air Classroom property is managed by the Vancouver Island Conservation Land Management Program and Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. It highlights the views and values of this ecological wet spot. One of the largest wintering colonies of Trumpeter Swan and the largest Garry Oaks in the world make this a special place to protect. Thousands of people use the boardwalk every year including school children beginning in September.

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More Information

About Somenos Marsh

A designated Important Bird Area, resident waterfowl as well as migrating birds use this marsh for overwintering and food. The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, which stewards the Somenos Marsh Conservation Area, has long been an important partner for NCC. A wheelchair-accessible boardwalk called the Open Air Classroom runs along the marsh, providing spectacular views of habitat and wildlife.

What you will be doing

Conservation Volunteers will be trained in the identification and uses of native trees and shrubs found in riparian areas. We will not be removing invasive plants although a training session on their proper control will be discussed. The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society will be hosting a concurrent birding event as part of their Wildwings Festival so there will be many experts along the boardwalk interpreting the site for our Conservation Volunteers.

Why you will love it

This is an opportunity to get hands on restoration training in the endangered Somenos Marsh ecosystem, while meeting other like-minded individuals from our partner organizations, as well as learning about the birds and ecology of this sensitive ecosystem. More activities through the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society's Wild Wings event series are listed here:


Contact Melanie Kuzyk:

Please Note

Come early or stay late to experience the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom (OAC)!

The OAC an be accessed by car by turning into the parking lot a short distance north from the Beverly Street and Trans Canada Highway Intersection. Look for the long brown fence and kiosk. Give plenty of notice that you are turning in. There is a donation box near the entrance for donations towards the ongoing maintenance. The OAC is a place for learning, rest, exercise and wildlife watching. Flat gravel trails lead to, and out of, the elevated wheelchair accessible boardwalk structure. The boardwalk is level with secure handrails that provide support for the elderly and allowing children to run free. Interpretive signs line the boardwalk providing history and natural history information. There is also a raised wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform.
Online map at

People of all fitness levels can participate
Running water and flush toilets
Water and snacks will be provided

Sponsored by Nexen

Item Checklist

While we do our best to provide you with the tools you need to participate, please bring the following items if you have them:

  • Long pants and sleeves
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Notebook
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Lunch
    (Excellent lunch spots with a view!) Local grocery store easily accessible.