What better place to ponder future possibilities than a wetland awakening to spring’s warm touch? In “Wetland Reflections”, our Photo of the Week, still water keeps new life secret and safe while reflecting the land and sky of Abbotsford’s Ellwood/Fishtrap Creek Nature Park. Our featured photographer, who goes by Pat’s Photos36, has posted a series of shots from this urban park (click here to view them), demonstrating both the abundance of creatures thriving in this wetland and the recreational area local residents enjoy.
As natural as Fishtrap Creek Nature Park may look, it is actually a man-made facility. The City of Abbotsford had the park designed by engineering firm Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd. in order to do what wetlands do best: contain copious amounts of storm water and prevent flooding in Abbotsford. The area drains 3,047 hectares of agricultural, forested and urban land. It was increasing urbanization which pushed the city into Fishtrap Creek that contributed to flooding issues in the first place–that and the fact that Abbotsford is one of Canada’s rainiest cities, receiving an average of 1.5 metres of precipitation per year.
The park does do more than just act as a giant sponge, however; it also acts as an enhanced habitat for wildlife, such as Canada Geese and fish, including Nooksack Dace and Salish Sucker, two endangered species of freshwater fish found only in a small area of the Fraser Valley in Canada and the Chehalis River and Puget Sound in the State of Washington. Local residents have had their habitat improved as well as the community has access to 30 km of trails, lookout points, and picnicking areas.
Thank you to Pat’s Pics36 for sharing this photo and giving us an opportunity to reflect on spring’s possibilities–from new life hidden beneath the surface of a pond to grand ideas, like the engineering of Fishtrap Creek Nature Park itself. To participate in our BC Wetlands photo group, follow this link.