A local stewardship group, in conjunction with provincial partners (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Wildlife Federation), is taking the first steps to restore Mallory Creek by creating wetlands.
Establishment of these wetlands will eventually improve the water quality in Mallory Creek as it enters Gardom Lake and provides a new wildlife habitat.
The restoration project was identified as a priority in the Gardom Lake Management Plan, completed in 2015 by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD). The newly constructed wetland is at the southern end of the lake, near the corner of Musgrave Road and Park Road. The wetlands historically located in this area have dried up or been filled in due to changes in human occupation, hydrological patterns and the environment.
“Our goal is to help protect the lake’s water quality,” said Liz Winter, president of Gardom Lake Stewardship Society, the local stewardship group working in cooperation with the BC Wildlife Federation on this project. “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. This will be the first phase of a multi-year project as the BCWF holds a five-year permit to construct works within the right-of-way.
“This was a win-win for us,” said Neil Fletcher, wetlands program manager, BCWF. “We are all about creating wildlife habitat, and wetlands play a critical role.”
Marge Sidney, a biologist with the BC Ministry of Environment, is pleased to see the project move forward.
“The Gardom Lake Stewardship Society has worked hard to make this happen,” she said.
Winter notes 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 said.
GLSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia, the Shuswap Watershed Council, and extensive in-kind support from the local community, including the Gardom Lake Bible Camp, Reimers Farm Services, Transition Marketing Services and a number of local volunteers and neighbours of the Lake.
The wetland was designed by Thomas Biebighauser, Wetland Restoration Specialist from Kentucky, and the onsite contracting was provided by Bee-Jay Excavating, Landmark Excavating and Grandview Excavating.
Many thanks to all of the individuals in all of the ministries and organizations involved.