On March 30, twenty-three volunteers gathered on Hamilton Road in Parksville to plant 244 ferns and shrubs along the banks of Shelly Creek. Twelve of those folks live beside or near the creek and wanted to do their part in conserving Shelly Creek and its fish populations, a great example of local residents getting involved with their neighbourhood creek. Other volunteers were with the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES), Arrowsmith Naturalists, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, and even a resident of Nanaimo. The group was led by Peter Law of MVIHES.
The section of creek chosen for planting is habitat for a resident population of Cutthroat Trout.
The area of land beside a creek is called the "Riparian Zone". Sword ferns, red osier dogwood, salmonberry, thimbleberry, nootka rose and snowberry were planted in the Riparian Zone to provide shade during the warm summer months and keep the water at the cool temperatures the trout need to survive. The plants will also provide cover from predators and help stabilize the stream bank. Plus, some of the insects that crawl around on plants fall into the water and become food for the trout. The plants were purchased from Streamside Nurseries in Bowser who are great supporters of streamkeeper groups.
Riparian Planting 101
First you dig a hole and when that doesn't work, use a pick axe
Add some bone meal and mulch. Plant.
Water the little darlings, and voila.........
It's great to see neighbours working together to conserve their local environment.
Many thanks to all the volunteers!
Thanks go out to the City of Parksville Parks Department for allowing us to work in Shelly Park.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.