Wed. May 24 - #NoMowMay won't save Island ecosystems
Plus, Pic-a-Flic announces closure
Good morning !
I just came back from a week in Montreal and wow I missed the ocean. Don’t get me wrong, Montreal was amazing. The food, the architecture, the art, and the transit. It was fantastic. But the ocean has always called to me. With that said, one thing I noticed was all of the amazing graffiti in Montreal. Apparently, every summer they have a world-renowned mural festival. It made me think of all the great graffiti in Victoria too; though, I must say, I’d love to see more murals around town. What do you think?
Would you like to see more graffiti art in Victoria?
#NoMowMay won’t save Island ecosystems—plant camas instead
A bumble bee flies toward a native flower at Fort Rodd Hill. Photo: Robyn Bell / Capital Daily
With spring well underway here, this month had many residents discussing #NoMowMay, a movement that encourages people to forgo the usual maintenance of their lawns, allowing grass and flowers to grow.
But local biodiversity experts say that this movement does little to address the massive loss of the south Island’s Garry oak ecosystem, which has been depleted by 95%. By allowing non-native plants to flourish, like the grasses typically used for lawns, non-native pollinators will have an advantage over the quickly-disappearing local ones.
Instead of keeping the lawn mower tucked away for a month, conservation scientists would rather see a shift in focus to growing native plants to support our local wildlife—and they’re creating examples for locals to learn from.
🌤️ Today’s weather: Mainly sunny. High 19C / low 11C.
📼 Pic-a-Flic announces closure: The Island's last standing movie rental store will close at the end of September. A petition has been created for the Greater Victoria Public Library to purchase its collection. Read our feature on the store from 2020.
🏢 Royal Bay shopping centre opens this week: The Commons opens May 25 at 345 Latoria with Quality Foods and Cascadia Liquor and will add dental, pharmacy, insurance, banking, and restaurants later this year.
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Infrastructure upgrades coming to Victoria’s heliport and rest stop on the Malahat
Photo: Helijet/ Facebook
The province recently announced funding for transportation infrastructure improvements, including a $19.8M investment in 29 air facilities through the BC Air Access Program (BCAAP) to improve safety, security, and enhance economic development.
Victoria Harbour Heliport will receive $737K to improve fire protections and fire pump systems.
“The BC Air Access Program helps communities, especially smaller ones, with important improvements to their aviation facilities,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “This investment will help move people and goods, improve safety and benefit front-line services, like ambulance and wildfire fighting, as well as making for more secure access to remote and Indigenous communities.”
Several Island airports are also set to receive infrastructure funding. Nanaimo Airport will receive $2M for runway instrument approach lighting, while Comox Airport will receive $374K for solar power installation and electrification of ground support equipment.
Rest stop upgrades will improve safety and accessibility
The province is also investing $100M in the Safety Rest Area Improvement Program over the next nine years, with $28M being spent in the next three.
Improvements begin this summer on the Arbutus rest area on the Malahat Highway, north of Victoria. This will include new signage and lighting, increased accessibility, and improved rest area facilities and picnic areas.
“Rest areas are an essential part of the highway system and help highway safety by reducing risk of accidents related to fatigue or the need for people to stop on highway shoulders,” said Fleming. “By providing better facilities for people to take breaks from driving, these improvements to rest areas will help make travelling through our province safer and more comfortable for commercial truck drivers and everyone who uses the highway network.”
Seasonal students will also be hired to maintain rest areas and provide landscaping.
🎈 New CityVibe event guide: Victoria’s guide to over 200 free events for May-September. Available online and in print.
🎷 Noah Becker Trio at Hermann’s Jazz Club: This jazz trio performance is available on livestream and in person Thursday, 5:30pm. [Tickets]
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In Other News
🚓 Two men with fake gun arrested at James Bay apartment
Victoria Police and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) responded Monday morning to reports of an armed break-and-enter at an apartment on Simcoe. Witnesses reported that police dogs and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal device were deployed. [CHEK]
🚢 BC Ferries asks monster truck to stop blowing fire
A dinosaur monster truck was captured on video Monday spouting flames while in line at Departure Bay. The truck resembles the Megasaurus, which appeared at Saratoga Speedway’s The Malicious Monster Truck Tour Long Weekend on May 19.
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St Luke’s Players Community Theatre presents Firehoses & Family
Written by Mitch and Jo Barnes, and directed by Geil Barlett and Mitch Barnes, this hilarious dramedy runs May 24-Jun. 4 at 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road.
Firehoses & Family is a Canadian play which blends comedy and drama in a story of love, relationships, and the chaos that can only be experienced when family and friends come together and plans fall apart.
In Case You Missed It
🏥 Saanich Peninsula Hospital overnight staffing issues: Staff shortages require the ER to focus on urgent patients overnight, leaving non-urgent patients to wait. [Capital Daily]
🏉 Big win for Langford-based Canada Rugby 7s team: The men’s team won a crucial victory over Kenya in the 2024 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. [Capital Daily]
🐕 Empress dog retires: Ambassador Winston is calling it a career after four years. [@winstonattheempress]
🏏 New Island cricket league: The VCTL, with 100+ players and two women’s teams, launched on Sunday. [CHEK]
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