Joyce Young with sons Robert (left) and David

Joyce Young with sons Robert (left) and David

Family preserves wetland area

A portion of Oyama wetland has been protected for future generations

  • Nov. 8, 2015 6:00 a.m.

A portion of Oyama wetland has been protected for future generations.

Joyce Young, 96, and her sons, David and Robert Young, have donated the area known as Marsh Lake to Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Although DUC largely intends to preserve the wetland in its current condition, it recently restored a grassy area alongside the wetland to native riparian vegetation.

“Wildlife populations in the area will benefit from the addition of prickly rose, snowberry, willow, dogwood and other shrubs planted along the wetland edge,” states a release.

The parcels of land have been in the family since the 1930s.

“Joyce has spent decades watching the goings-on of painted turtles, great blue herons, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds, ring-necked pheasants, and a variety of snakes, frogs and waterfowl that have made their homes in and around the marsh over the year,” states the release.

“Her children and grandchildren learned to skate on the wetland.”

The family’s charitable donation was supported by Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts program. Site restoration work by Interior Land Reclamation was funded by Environment Canada’s National Wetland Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited.

“With more than 85 per cent of historic valley bottom wetlands in the Okanagan region lost to agriculture and development, Ducks Unlimited Canada has made the conservation of wetlands in this region a high priority,” states the release.

“In donating this valuable land, the Young family is leaving a legacy of wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy.”