Wetland wildlife biologist Wayne Harris and Ian Webster of Grandview Excavating introduce plants to a new wetland being created at the south end of Gardom Lake near Musgrave and Park roads. (Photo contributed)

Creek restoration begins with creation of wetland

Team works to improve water quality and protect Gardom Lake

Establishment of new wetlands will help to improve water quality in Mallory Creek as it enters Gardom Lake.

Members of the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society are working in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) to take the first steps to restore Mallory Creek by creating wetlands.

The restoration project was identified as a priority in the Gardom Lake Management Plan, completed in 2015 by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

The wetlands historically located in this area at the southern end of the lake near Musgrave and Park roads have dried up or been filled in due to changes in human occupation, hydrological patterns and the environment, says Liz Winter, president of the stewardship society.

Related: Future of Gardom Lake Park up for discussion

“Our goal is to help protect the lake’s water quality,” says Winter.

“Restoration of Mallory Creek, starting with this first wetland, will bring improved water quality to the creek and provide enhanced habitat for wildlife.”

The wetland is being created on a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure right-of-way, with plans to extend the wetland and connect it to Mallory Creek next fall.

Winter says this will be the first phase of a multi-year project as the BC Wildlife Federation holds a five- year permit to construct works within the right-of-way.

Related: Protecting Gardom Lake

“This was a win-win for us,” says Neil Fletcher, Wetlands Program Manager, at the Wildlife Federation. “We are all about creating wildlife habitat, and wetlands play a critical role.”

Enthusiasm reigns at the Ministry of Environment as well.

“The Gardom Lake Stewardship Society has worked hard to make this happen,” says ministry biologist Marge Sidney.

Winter adds that the project would not have happened if Sidney hadn’t taken it under her wing.

“Marge’s passion for this project was critical to making it happen,” she says.

Members of the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society are grateful for the financial support provided by the province, the Shuswap Watershed Council, and extensive in-kind support from local community businesses and volunteers, adds Winter.

For more information, go to the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society Facebook page.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

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