Natural Environment and Ecosystems

Salal and Bracken fern close up

As a rainforest, Nanaimo's natural environment is green, thriving and includes a lot of crucial ecosystems to protect. This includes our wetlands, streams, parklands and marine shorelines. The City's Official Community Plan includes a key goal to protect and enhance our environment.

The City works to protect and enhance our environments by following federal and provincial regulation and by adopting and enforcing environmental policies and bylaws. We also work to build partnerships with the development community, community organizations, and residents to support environmental restoration and stewardship efforts in the community.

Council's strategic plan for 2019 - 2022 lists Environmental Responsibility as a fundamental goal. To support this goal, Council will work to "protect and enhance Nanaimo's natural environment by looking after the community's biological diversity and adapt the way we live, work, recreate and move."

header image of Buttertubs Marsh info sign titled Partnered in Conservation

Conservation conversation and action is at its best when it people and organizations come together to make a difference. As a rainforest, Nanaimo's Natural Environment Conservation Partnerships are an important part of protecting and preserving nature, and the following highlight some of the protected areas and preservation efforts made possible by working together.

An image of one of Nanaimo's waterways surrounded by nature, titled Nature, Planned

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, did it make any noise at all? Environmental Planning is a lot like that falling tree; it's a lot of behind the scenes work, and often takes resounding strides when nobody is around to hear it. But protecting our resources and the wonder of the world around us is a priority worth listening for.

A bank of plants in a restoration area, titled Nature, restored.

Environmental Restoration often includes the community, volunteering and putting their hearts into restoring the natural environment around us.

A log placed near a part of Woodstream, titled Nature Protected

Setbacks. Boundaries. Requirements. Restrictions. When it comes to development, or even park use, the protection of nature doesn't always have an exciting ring to it. Nonetheless, we can preserve nature and the wildlife habitats within our city simply by 'following the rules.'

A picture of a patch of wildflowers, heading the section The Good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good: Wildflowers. Ever heard of the Lotus Pinnatus flower? How about the edible Nodding Onion? Wildflowers native to Nanaimo Wildflowers in Nanaimo and Vancouver Island add beauty to our landscape and play an important role in our environmental landscape. It's important to protect these wildflowers, even to the point of walking around them.

The Bad: Invasive Species. Beware of the alien species around us! These unwanted plants have made their way to Nanaimo and Vancouver Island, and are aggressive plant species that choke out the natural, wild plant species of our area.

The Ugly: Pesticide Use. Pesticide use has a negative impact on our natural environment, and although it can take care of those unwanted slugs and bugs, it often harms wildlife or populations of beneficial insects. Rainfall and watering also cause excess pesticides and fertilizers from your lawn and garden to run into storm drains and our local watercourses, ultimately harming the health of fish and other aquatic organisms. 

Last updated: March 13, 2024

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