Ri­par­ian restora­tion mov­ing for­ward

Penticton Herald - - CITY - BY SU­SAN MCIVER

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.

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