Natural Areas and Ecology
Esquimalt had several natural areas, such as Highrock and Rockcrest parks, where visitors alike can experience native flora and fauna in a relatively undisturbed setting. Native tree species such as arbutus and Douglas fir trees abound and in the spring these areas are prime spots to view camas, chocolate and shooting star lilies.
At Macaulay Point there are some rare plant species that are federally protected such as Dense Flowered Lupin and the Purple Sanicle. Download the Macaulay Point Natural Areas Management Plan.
Saxe Point Park has natural areas, as well, with rare protected plant species such as Poverty Clover and Snake Root Sanicle.
Natural areas are constantly under threat from invasive plant species and Esquimalt Parks relies on community volunteers to help control them.
In Esquimalt Gorge Park, one can witness the return of the original creek from the confines of an underground culvert. The area is slowly regenerating with small fish and birds such as herons, swallows, and hawks returning.
The old concession in Esquimalt Gorge Park is now home to the Gorge Waterway Discovery Centre, an educational centre which includes interactive exhibits such as a touch tank and aquarium filled with organisms from the Gorge Waterway. The Centre is a partnership between the Township of Esquimalt, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, Seaquaria in Schools, World Fisheries Trust, and the Gorge Waterway Initiative.