Last Saturday, March 24th, 2012, I had the pleasure of volunteering in my first wetlands restoration project at the Maclure wetlands, located just off Maclure road in Abbotsford, B.C.
The Maclure restoration project was developed by Natashia Cox, Project Coordinator with the Fraser Valley Conservancy and Project Manager with the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition. Natashia, a former BCWF intern, developed the project at the Wetlands Instutite, where she was a past participant.
Over 30 volunteers of all ages came to help, and planted over 500 plants, on an amazing sunny afternoon. The Maclure wetlands, are located on a 12 acre parcel of land with two creeks running through it, Wilbran and Horn creek, both of which are fish bearing. Volunteers helped plant numerous species that are important in the restoration process such as Red Alder, which is known for its Nitrogen fixing ability, Red Osier Dogwood, Western Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, which grow very well in moist environments, along with many other native species found in wetland environments in B.C.
After a well deserved lunch break, myself and the other volunteers learnt how easy you could grow whole new plants by using the branches from the existing Willows in the wetlands to create Willow whips, that we could directly plant into the soil around the wetlands.
It was great to be a part of such an amazing project, and learn about the history of the area, and the vision for the future of this diverse and intricate wetlands ecosystem.