Layered Landscapes and Ecological Restoration in Cities Speaker Series

To really make the simple concept of layered landscapes and ecological restoration work in a design appropriate for a given site requires a process of discovery of the site’s past history, current influences, and future impacts. This process of understanding a site is sometimes called “listening” and encompasses ecological, social, and political factors and values. Each can be seen as a layer and the site and its future design is defined by all the layers taken as a whole. Previously, a typical toolbox for ecological restoration included using native species, working with ecological processes such as succession, and using historical ecosystems as restoration targets. However, we are now aware that restoration is more complex than that. Historical and social context is just as or even more important in determining the success of projects. In these two lectures we will review examples of restoration projects around Greater Victoria that reveal the layers involved and how they have shaped restoration projects. You can download the slide shows for the talks Layered Landscapes 1 U Vic and Colquitz (9 MB) and Layered Landscapes 2 Listening and EM (5.3 MB).


World Environmental Education Congress 2017

WEEC 2017 in Vancouver, BC, in September, 2017, was an opportunity to present interactive poster papers on Metaphors for Ecological Restoration and Ecological Restoration in Cities.The metaphors presentation described the business Apostels Model, healing the body and reducing risk as dealing with uncertainty to teach concepts in ecological restoration. Restoration in Cities described novel ecosystems and layered landscapes as new approaches to ecological restoration in anthropic habitat.

BCSLA Sitelines with Val Schaefer as Guest Editor Now Available

Welcome to this month’s Siteline readers. To browse through RNS students’ ER390s, check here  or under the “RNS Student Papers” tab.


I was very honoured to be the Guest Editor for the August 2017 edition of Sitelines, the magazine of the BC Society of Landscape Architects. It was great working with Tara Culhan (Executive Director)., Stephanie Nguyen (Co-editor), Odette Hidalgo (Graphic Designer) and Randy Sharpe. Thanks to all the contributors and to my wife Anny for all of their help. A copy of the Sitelines Guest Edition is available at:

Victoria Bioblitz April 22, 2017!

Beacon Hill Park

Organizers chill before the counting begins: Jon Wiersma (CWF), Catherine Keogen (UVic), Elizabeth Gammell, (CWF), Garry Oak, Val Schaefer (UVic), and Britten Jacob-Schram (UVic), in Beacon Hill Park.

Uplands Park and Cattle Point

Margaret Lidkea (Friends of Uplands Park), Octavio Cruz (UVic, in red hat), and friends on the foreshore.

University of Victoria

Jake Muntz (UVic) and friends at the University of Victoria Camas meadow.


BioBlitz Victoria

Camas field with Uncommon White FlowerComing on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 – GOERT and the RNS Program will be holding BioBlitzes at Beacon Hill Park, Uplands Park/Cattle Point, and the University of Victoria campus. This is a 24-hour event allows you to be a citizen scientist, with experts identifying species present in the field. There will be activities for the general public including kids from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.