Wetlands in Urban Environments: Armstrong-Spallumcheen Wetlandkeepers

One of the best ways to ensure community buy-in is to build a relationship with a space. To support this notion, we encouraged the group explore the flowing waters of the wetland with macroinvertebrate kits. A group of professional adults quickly became a pack of curious children scooping away in the waters, attempting to identify the numerous macroinvertebrates and finding a diversity of life. Soon after, the group returned to the heart of the wetland where the WEP Manager, Alyssa, led a soil sampling activities that had the group in big smiles.

The day ended with a visit to Gardom Lake where the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society has been constructing wetland habitat since 2018. Some of BCWF’s very own Wetlands Workforce staff also joined the group at this site to discuss the maintenance and monitoring work they’ve been conducting at the wetlands. After learning about the success of this project, plans for phase 2 of wetland restoration, and the importance of monitoring and maintaining sites, the group wrapped up the evening in anticipation of an early morning bird walk the following day.

For the final day in Armstrong, WEP had the pleasure of meeting Norbert Maertens of the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club (NONC) at Swan Lake for a tour of the nature reserve. Norbert has been living in the southern interior for over forty years and in this time, has become a knowledgeable chiropterologist (someone who studies bats) and a passionate birder. While meandering along the circular route overlooking the beautiful marsh, Norbert stopped to showcase his knowledge of a variety of local plants and their uses, and recount what the NONC has been working on in the last few years, including the construction of an observation tower that provides 360o views of the surrounding wetlands. Participants had the pleasure of viewing several bird species such as red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds, as well as a pair of northern harriers.

As the group returned to the parking lot and departed from a rainy Swan Lake, the WEP team returned home to prepare for the next set of summer workshops. If you’re interested in joining a workshop, visit bcwf.bc.ca/wetlands-program to find upcoming stewardship and learning opportunities.    

This workshop was held on the unceded territories of the Secwe̓pemc, Syilx and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. The B.C. Wildlife Federation operates on the unceded ancestral, traditional and contemporary territories of the Semiahmoo, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Á,LEṈENEȻ ȽTE (W̱SÁNEĆ), Kwantlen, Stz’uminus, and Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group Nations.

This workshop was held free of charge for participants, and would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the following contributors/ Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier de:

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