Collaborative efforts work to restore natural ecosystems:
The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) in partnership with BC Parks and Shearing Consultants Ltd. coordinated the implementation of the restoration project. Now in the second year of the project, indigenous shrubs and trees have been planted to restore an invasive plant infested meadow at Blanket Creek Provincial Park!
The Project and Its Ecological Importance
Blanket Creek Provincial Park is located within the traditional territories of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, the Secwepemc and the Syilx First Nations. The park protects important conservation values for Kokanee spawning and winter ungulate range. The park also contains white pine, and mature second growth stands of western hemlock and western cedar.
Unfortunately, historical disturbance from a gravel pit in one area of the park created ideal conditions for invasive plants to become established, competing with native species for light, water and resources.
“The purpose of the project intends to support the natural ecosystem, by encouraging natural regeneration of local vegetation by re-establishing native plant species,” says CSISS Executive Director Robyn Hooper. There are two sites within the park that have been identified for focused planting and reseeding of native species. It is hoped that planting a diverse range of local plant species, will displace invasive plants.
Summary of the Project to Date
The project began in the fall of 2020, with volunteers planting 75 native shrubs, trees and seeding native grass, shrubs and forbs. The spring saw promising signs of new growth yet despite our best efforts and watering one to two times per week there was some die off due to the prolonged heatwave and drought. This fall, the restoration area was greatly expanded thanks to the tremendous collaborative effort of staff and project volunteers. Over the course of 8 days, 441 trees and shrubs were planted, 100 cottonwood stakes were installed, and a 2300 m² area was seeded.
The work was all possible from the combined efforts of:
- Invasive Species Council of BC Action Teams
- Shearing Consultants Limited
- BC Parks Rangers
- Wildsight Revelstoke
- Jake and Jay Construction (soil donation)
- Revelstoke Tree Care (mulch donation)
- 40 dedicated volunteers (including See Revelstoke Tourism volunteers)
Volunteer Restoration Event Success
On the 2nd-3rd of October, CSISS, with the expertise of Shearing Consultant Ltd and BC Parks, led a weekend of restoration work at the project site. We were honored to have Indigenous knowledge keeper from the Shuswap Indian Band Mike Archie and his family join us on the Sunday. Mike blessed the area and generously shared time, stories and songs with us.
Fueled by treats, over the weekend a team of 40 dedicated volunteers (many participating in the See Revelstoke Tourism- Thanksgiving Back campaign) installed 350 native trees and shrubs! To ensure the best success of the project, volunteers worked hard introducing wood, mulch, and fungi to each site, replicating the surrounding forest conditions. A huge thank to everyone who came out to help! See the video clip of the projects progress here.
“The Blanket Creek Restoration project is a great example of enriching collaboration with valuable contributions from Shearing Consultants Limited, BC Parks, ISCBC teams, and Wildsight Revelstoke,” shares Robyn Hooper.
Special thanks to Jake-Jay Construction in Revelstoke who donated top soil and to Revelstoke Tree Care for donating mulch. This project was made possible by the Environment and Climate Change Canada Eco Action Community Fund (Eco Action), the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and BC Parks.