Students getting hands on experience in wetland rehab!

Students from Lucerne School assist with Snk’Mip Marsh Wetland Restoration Efforts

We have collaborated with the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology (VFE) to assist with restoration efforts at the Snk’Mip Marsh Sanctuary. The 17.4-hectare wetland located at the north end of Slocan Lake was purchased by VFE in 2017. The area is a vital aquatic and riparian ecosystem because it is an important stopover for migrating birds; it is home to many species at risk; it acts as a carbon sink.  The area is also important to locals and tourists for its recreation opportunities.

The newly created Snk’Mip Marsh conservation area.

Plans to restore the portion of the property that was impacted by human disturbance (road building, mining, farming, etc.) are now under way! This fall, the CKISS and the VFE led a field trip for students from Lucerne School at the wetland. The students participated in a variety of activities to expose them to the topics of ecology, biodiversity, and invasive vs native species.

Wayne McCrory, a wildlife biologist and Chair of the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology shares his knowledge of the area with students.

Students had a chance to assist with restoration efforts by putting on their gardening gloves and planting a variety of native shrubs, plants and trees at the newly built wetland. Students discussed the ecological and cultural value of the native species that they planted.

Students having a blast planting native shrubs and trees at the wetland.

Following recommendations from Robin Annschild, a wetland restoration specialist, 250 plugs were planted at the marsh by volunteers and CKISS staff, including:

  • Saskatoon,
  • red-osier dogwood,
  • black cottonwood,
  • Nootka rose,
  • Douglas maple, and
  • paper birch

CKISS staff and volunteers will revisit the site in 2020 to continue with restoration activities and to monitor the establishment of this year’s planting. This project was made possible by funding from Environment Canada’s Eco Action Community Funding Program and Columbia Basin Trust.