Vol­un­teers needed for vi­tal wet­land habi­tat restora­tion at River­side Park

Penticton Herald - - LIVING -

Okana­gan Sim­ilka­meen Stew­ard­ship is proud to part­ner again with TD Friends of the En­vi­ron­ment Foun­da­tion and the City of Pen­tic­ton for the 8th an­nual TD Tree Days tak­ing place Sun­day, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at River­side Park in Pen­tic­ton.

Stretch­ing along the west side of River­side Drive, River­side Park is a hub of recre­ational ac­tiv­ity in the sum­mer months but it also con­tains an es­sen­tial wet­land habi­tat. In an ef­fort to en­hance the park and cre­ate an ef­fec­tive buf­fer zone to pro­tect the wet­land, last year more than 60 vol­un­teers joined to­gether to plant 550 na­tive shrubs.

“We were just thrilled with the turnout at last year’s event and made tremen­dous strides in restor­ing this area that sup­ports life for many species of fish, birds and am­phib­ians,” said OSS ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Alyson Skin­ner. “We have a bit of fill­ing-in of plants dam­aged by the flood­ing this spring but mostly we are beef­ing up the ri­par­ian area by plant­ing an ad­di­tional 1,000 shrubs, with a fo­cus on pol­li­na­tor plants!”

Pol­li­na­tor plants that at­tract bees, but­ter­flies, bee­tles, moths and other pol­li­na­tors, pro­vide a crit­i­cal ecosys­tem service needed to sus­tain nat­u­ral habi­tats as well as agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties. In ad­di­tion to pol­li­nat­ing food plants, many pol­li­na­tors also con­trol un­wanted pests and im­prove soil qual­ity.

Today in­sect pol­li­na­tors are in an alarm­ing state of de­cline with sev­eral species red-listed and in dan­ger of ex­tinc­tion.

TD Tree Days is TD's flag­ship ur­ban green­ing pro­gram, pro­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ties the op­por­tu­nity to bring peo­ple to­gether to demon­strate lead­er­ship in en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Vol­un­teers are asked to ar­rive a few min­utes early to re­ceive plant­ing in­struc­tions. Be sure to dress for the weather, wear ap­pro­pri­ate footwear, bring gloves and a shovel. Please note the event will take place rain or sun­shine.

To regis­ter to vol­un­teer go to www.tdtree­days.com and fol­low the links. For more in­for­ma­tion call Skin­ner at (250)-809-1980.

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