Rithet’s Bog Is A Nature Sanctuary
The Rithet’s Bog Conservation Area is a NATURE SANCTUARY. Its primary purpose is to provide habitat for native plants and animals. Please remember that the park is their home and we are guests in it.
Stay On The Main Perimeter Trail
Please stay on the main perimeter trail. Side trails branching off the main trail are service trails for Saanich staff and volunteers to do maintenance and restoration work. These trails are not maintained for safe use by the public and they also pass through sensitive habitats and ecosystems. Unnecessary traffic on these trails will damage the ecology of the park.
Bicycles may not be ridden anywhere within the park. There is a bike rack beside the kiosk at the Chatterton-Dalewood corner.
Dog may be walked in the park, but must be kept on leash and on the main perimeter trail as per the Saanich Animal Control Bylaw.
Owners must clean up their dog’s droppings.
Dogs should never be allowed to approach wildlife.
Do Not Feed The Ducks
Please do not feed the ducks, or any other animals in the park. Feeding is disruptive to the ecology of the park. Grain is not healthy food for ducks, it is just not as un-healthy as bread crumbs. Feeding also interferes with natural behaviours that are critical to these creatures survival. Left over food attracts rats.
Minimize Impact On Wildlife
Please try to minimize interactions with wildlife. These are wild creatures that should be respected and allowed to pursue their natural behaviours. Interactions with people disturbs their ability to forage, avoid predation and reproduce.
Do Not Pick Wildflowers
Please do not pick wildflowers or remove any vegetation from the park. Native plants are an important part of the ecosystems in Rithet’s Bog. Even vegetation we consider to be past its prime is a part of the ecosystem and contributes to the habitats of other species.
The Rithet’s Bog Conservation Area is zoned as a NATURE SANCTUARY. Its primary purpose is to provide habitat for native plants and animals. All other uses are secondary, including our recreational use. Our park rules are designed to maximize the park’s ability to provide habitat and to minimize our impact on the native plants and animals inhabiting Rithet’s Bog. Please remember that the park is their home and we are guests in it, so we should behave accordingly.
Staying On The Trail
Please stay on the main perimeter trail. Side trails are service trails for the use of Saanich staff and Pulling Together volunteers to do maintenance and restoration work. They are not designed to stand up to frequent traffic by the public and are not maintained for safe use by the public. Dogs must be kept on the main perimeter trail, as per the Saanich Animal Control Bylaw.
Rithet’s Bog is a nature sanctuary, so its primary purpose is to provide habitat for native plants and animals. Straying off the perimeter trail has negative impacts on the behaviours and living spaces of these plants and animals as well as the ecosystems they live in. In some cases these are rare and sensitive ecosystems and/or the habitats of species at risk.
If we want Rithet’s Bog to continue to provide sanctuary and refuge for our native plants and animals, then we must eliminate unauthorized off trail traffic and the damage it does to the ecology of the park.
Feeding ducks interferes with the park’s ecology, our restoration efforts and the duck’s welfare in several ways:
- Artificial feeding attracts more ducks than the ecosystem can naturally support. This damages the native vegetation and degrades the habitats of both ducks and other species.
- Concentrated duck feeding strips the trailside of ground cover vegetation. This leads to erosion, which damages the trail and washes ex-posed soil into the wetlands, which in turn contributes to terrestrialization of the wetlands.
- Rithet’s Bog is a seasonal wetland, so our ducks must leave by mid summer when the park becomes too dry. They must congregate at lakes along with ducks from other seasonal wetlands and competition is intense. The ducks at Rithet’s Bog must maintain their foraging and predator avoidance skills so they can compete and survive.
- Ducklings must learn and practice these same foraging and predator avoidance skills to be competitive at the summer congregations. This is critical to their survival.
- Grain based feeds like hen scratch and corn are not healthy for ducks, they are just not as bad as bread crumbs. These items are not a major component of a duck’s natural diet and can cause illnesses.
- Left over food attracts rats. We live in a temperate climate and urban environment that is ideal for rats, so we must all be diligent to minimize the potential for rats in our community.
Native plants are an important part of the user experience at Rithet’s Bog. Please leave them in place for others to enjoy.
While these plants are valuable in their own right, they are also important components of park ecosystems and make important contributions to the habitat of other native species of plants and animals. Even vegetation we consider past its prime is a part of the ecosystem and contributes to the habitats of other species.
Rithet’s Bog harbours some “Species At Risk” listed by the BC Conservation Data Center. Damaging or removing vegetation could imperil a population of one of these species at risk, either directly by removing individuals of the species, or indirectly by damaging that specie’s habitat.