31 Oct Building a climate resilient and sustainable wetland
Since 2014, we have been working with partners, volunteers, and members of the Harrop-Proctor community to restore the degraded wetland in Harrop BC’s Sunshine Bay Regional Park. Over the last year, our team worked in partnership with professional consultants, community organizations, and individuals to develop a restoration plan for the Harrop wetland to increase climate resilience and water retention.
October and November 2022 were busy months, during which we completely transformed Harrop Wetland. Below are some of the restoration efforts that have taken place over the last month:
Native Seed Collection Workshop (October 16th)
We partnered with the Kootenay Native Plant Society to deliver a free native plant identification and seed collection workshop on October 16th. Native seeds were collected from the Crawford Bay Wetlands and were used to help seed Harrop Wetland.
Photo: Folks from Kootenay Native Plant Society collecting native seeds from Crawford Bay Wetland
Native Plant Salvage (October 25)
On October 25th we were joined at Harrop Wetland by BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) staff and a volunteer to salvage native sedges, rushes and their seeds to save them from being trampled by the heavy machinery. These plants were replanted after construction was complete.
Photo: Volunteer David holding a clump of sedges that he helped salvage from the wetland
Deepening the pools of Harrop Wetland (October 31-November 7)
This was one of the biggest (and messiest!) parts of the restoration project. A cat 330 Excavator was brought in to do the heavy lifting. Marked patches of sedges were stripepd and set aside to be replanted after construction. Invasive reed canary grass and its roots were removed from the restoration site. The excavator deepened the basin to connect it to groundwater. Large woody debris consisting of branches, logs and root wads were placed in and around the wetland to provide birds with perches and waterfowl with loafing sites.
Photo: Program Manager Kayla and Construction Manager Gregoire helping to direct the excavator
Revegetating the Wetland (November 8 & 9th)
Despite the cold snap and unexpected snow we received at the beginning of November, we were still able to complete a few days of planting at the wetland! FokLSS and Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society staff, BCWF staff, 11 volunteers, Brenda Beckwith from Kinseed Ecologies and Gregoire Lamoureux of Kootenay Permaculture planted over 1,700 stakes, seedlings, trees, forbs, and distributed nearly 19 million seeds. While we still have more vegetation to plant in the spring, we are looking forward to seeing what the wetland will look like then and what species will thrive! A huge thank you to everyone who helped out. We could not have done this without you!
Photo: Brenda from Kinseed Ecologies holding up various plants
DISCLAIMER: The wetland will look muddy and messy for 1-2 years before the vegetation establishes.