The Harewood Plains, located outside of the City of Nanaimo are a mosaic of extremely rare ecosystems including Garry  oak meadows and vernal pools. The Plains are threatened by a subdivision proposal which was recently presented to the City of Nanaimo. The GCC is very concerned about the proposed subdivision development of the Harewood Plains. Grasslands and open meadow environments are extremely rare in this part of BC and the Harewood Plains represent one of very few areas on Vancouver Island with this set of values. We urge the City to reject the proposal and maintain  the unique biodiversity at the site. See the GCC’s letter to Nanaimo City and Council here.

The site is home to a mixture of critically imperiled ecological communities that includes open Garry Oak woodlands (Garry Oak / California Brome and Garry Oak / Oceanspray) and vernal seeps (Tiny Mousetails / Montias spp. / Macoun’s Meadowfoam) (GOERT, 2011). The areas of greatest conservation importance are the open, seasonally wet meadows found in the north and east of the site. A combination of thin soils over bedrock and a slow release of winter-accumulated rainwater provides the physical conditions for the survival of these plant communities and species, some of which are found in few other places in Canada.

How can you help?

Learn more about the plains at

Write a letter expressing your concerns about the development to:
the City of Nanaimo,
the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and
Minister of Water Land and Resource Stewardship
and cc:
Lisa Marie Barron, MP
Doug Routley, MLA


At a City of Nanaimo council meeting on March 4 2024, Councilor Paul Manly put forward motions to ask that the province and feds work with the city, Regional District of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Nanaimo Area Land Trust to protect the areas within the Harewood Plains. The motion passed unanimously. We still encourage you to contact government representatives about your concern for the area.


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