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Maleea Acker, Garry oak species invade Vancouver March 9


Acker-Maleea-lgThe Van­cou­ver launch for Maleea Ack­er’s Gar­dens Aflame: Gar­ry Oak Mead­ows of BC’s South Coast is set for Sat­ur­day, March 9, at the People’s Co-op Book­store. Her talk might even include tips on how to obtain and grow your own Gar­ry oak tree.

Gar­dens Aflame, No. 21 in the Trans­mon­tanus series, is a por­trait of Quer­cus gar­ryana, our own native oak, an unusu­al spec­i­men that goes into dor­man­cy in the mid­dle of sum­mer, and which seemed to thrive best in a sym­bi­ot­ic rela­tion­ship with the peo­ple who tend­ed the mead­ows that bloomed at their feet.

In April, Maleea will be back in Vic­to­ria for two events orga­nized by the Native Plant Study Group.

On April 18, Maleea will give a talk and slide show at the NPSG’s offices, at 405 — 365 Water­front Cres­cent. This event is open to the pub­lic, and gets under­way at 7 pm.

On April 24, at the Saanich Cen­ten­ni­al Library, Maleea wil be read­ing from Gar­dens Aflame and from her forth­com­ing (from Ped­lar Press) sec­ond book of poet­ry, Almond In the Earth. The read­ing begins at 7 pm.

Mean­while, BC Stud­ies has pub­lished this review by Jen­ny McCune on their web­site.

Van­cou­ver Island’s Gar­ry oak mead­ows are a per­fect local exam­ple of the clash between the tra­di­tion­al ide­al of con­ser­va­tion as a return to wilder­ness untouched by human pres­ence, and the real­iza­tion that in some cas­es, the ecosys­tems we want to con­serve were cre­at­ed and/or main­tained by the actions of human beings. Ack­er apt­ly describes this con­flict, and high­lights the result­ing con­tro­ver­sies over how best to man­age the small frag­ments of Gar­ry oak mead­ows we have left. As far as I am aware, Gar­dens Aflame is the first book out­side the aca­d­e­m­ic lit­er­a­ture to tell this sto­ry. It has the poten­tial to intro­duce the fas­ci­nat­ing envi­ron­men­tal his­to­ry of Van­cou­ver Island’s Gar­ry oak mead­ows to read­ers in British Colum­bia and beyond. I hope it will also inspire more peo­ple to con­sid­er cre­at­ing a Gar­ry oak mead­ow in their own front yard.

And yes, spar­rows are not mam­mals.

The People’s Co-op launch gets under­way at 8 pm. Admis­sion is free.