Riparian restoration moving forward
Summerland Council has approved the second phase of a riparian restoration project along Aeneas Creek in Garnet Valley.
The work is being conducted on a small section of a 312-acre parcel located at the north end of Garnet Valley Road.
“In 2016 the property owners, Steve and Christine Lornie, in conjunction with the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society applied for a development permit to remediate a portion of the property,” development planner Alex Kondor wrote to council.
The application approved on Tuesday was to continue restoration work farther down the creek.
The project involves the creation of wetland and ponds with native riparian vegetation planted adjacent to the stream and pond, as explained by registered professional biologist Dwight Shanner.
Approximately 5,000 riparian plant species including Black Cottonwood, Water Birch, Redosier Dogwood and Nootka Rose will be planted by hand in order to minimize soil disturbance.
Native grasses such as Idaho Fescue, Sandberg Bluegrass and Tufted Hairgrass will be seeded to reduce potential erosion and competition from weeds.
The project promises to benefit many wildlife species, for example, to provide nesting habitat for the endangered Western Screech Owl.
Restoration of the streamside vegetation will enhance fish habitat and improve downstream water quality.