Owl Banding At VIU

I’ve always been fascinated by owls. Their eyes look like two annular solar eclipses, rings bursting with a golden flame, lighting their way through the night. I have nothing but my cellphone to light my way through the thick dark forest at the end of Galloway Gulch Road, Nanaimo—just off Jingle Pot Road behind the … Continued

Identifying Plants on Vancouver Island:

My New Year’s resolution, like many people’s, was to start going to the gym more come January. With the restrictions keeping gyms closed for the first few weeks of January, however, I decided to come up with another resolution—plant identification.  Last year for Christmas I was given a book about plants in Canada and how … Continued


The freezing rain pelts your back, creeping into your boots and soaking through your clothes. You curse yourself for begging for rain during the hot and bug-infested 30-plus degree weather the day before.  Surrounding you is a cutblock where a logging company has chopped down all the trees in the area, leaving behind brush and … Continued

The Bee’s Knees

Thanks to the VIU Eco Club, those looking to help out their local pollinators can get some native wildflower seeds for free at the VIUSU Pub. “[We] wanted to give wildflower seeds out, but just didn’t know how to get them to people,” Haley Andersen, event coordinator for the Eco Club, said in an interview. … Continued

Batten Down the Hatches

The southern Salish Sea is a network of sounds and channels weaving in and out of craggy islands. Forests of Douglas fir and native arbutus trees sweep over mountains big and small. Above, bald eagles glide through salty air. In the water, pods of orcas search for schools of Pacific salmon to fill their bellies. … Continued

Nanaimo’s Plastic Bag Ban Receives Provincial Approval

The movement to ban plastic grocery bags on Vancouver Island has been an arduous one, but various obstacles haven’t halted its progress. In January of 2018, Victoria instituted Vancouver Island’s first bylaw banning plastic bags. Unfortunately, having failed to receive provincial approval for the ban before its implementation, Victoria repealed the bylaw in October of … Continued

Unwrapped: Students Showcase Sustainable Alternatives

Nancy Pagé, VIU Graphic Design Professor, posed a question to the students in her third-year Package Studio class: Is product packaging nothing but beautiful garbage? Then, she issued a challenge—redesign an existing product’s packaging so it is more ecologically responsible. Each student chose one product, and their resulting creations are now on display during Unwrapped, … Continued

Celebrate Earth Day 2018

If we are what we eat, then we are the Earth. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, this is something that many of may forget, which makes it even more significant to take time when we can to honour the Earth, the land, ourselves, and the responsibilities we hold for each other. … Continued

Chasing Coral showing at World VIU Days

On Tuesday, November 7th, during World VIU Days, there will be a showing on campus of “Chasing Coral” about the worldwide coral reef crisis. The film was directed by James Balog of National Geographic and of the documentary, “Chasing Ice,” which examined the retreat of glaciers and ice shelves resulting from climate change. The film … Continued

Old growth trees: A life lesson

Above: There is unrest in the forest. There is trouble in the trees. 📷 Natalie Gates By contributor Dallas Bezaire On this beautiful rock we call Vancouver Island, we have some of the most spectacular and rare ecosystems in the world. I am not talking about VIU’s plethora of bunnies, or the amazing aquatic ecosystems that teem … Continued

Everyday Earth:

Above: Shawnigan Lake via thesra.ca By contributor Chantelle Spicer It doesn’t get more everyday earth than water. Water is our most valuable resource—giver and taker of life—and I am searching to get to know it better. After researching and writing last issue’s column, “Going with the flow,” I realized I could not examine issues surrounding … Continued

Put a cap on it: The west coast mushroom master.

For foragers and commoners alike, the arrival of autumn means one thing—the sprouting of those delicate long stemmed caps: Mushrooms. No one is more accustomed to nature’s most tantalizing delicacies than Bill Holmes, founder and Forager-in-chief at Deer Holme farms. Now with a multitude of books dedicated to the craft, various foraging and cooking classes, … Continued

City of Nanaimo sows seeds for the future

By contributor Tomi Lawson The city of Nanaimo is planning to replace the fallen trees in Colliery Dams Park. According to a City of Nanaimo news release, horticultural crews from the city have gathered pine cones from Douglas fir, Grand fir, and Western Red cedar trees. They have also gathered big leaf maple seeds and … Continued

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