Improvements to a Saanich Park will be welcome for visitors, human and non-human.
Cuthbert Holmes Park is one of many Saanich parks to receive restoration upgrades, including the relocation of one of the main trails to reduce seasonal flooding and river restoration improvements.
Eva Riccius, Senior Director of Parks, said these restorative improvements are linked so that the park can not only be enjoyed by its human visitors, but also provide the necessary habitat for aquatic life and birds.
– Tricia deMacedo (@ tdm5229) September 14, 2021
“We moved the existing paved path and created a new crushed gravel path. The goal is for the old trail to be within 30 meters of the Colquitz River, an important area by the creek, ”said Riccius. “We wanted to move the path away from the river as it was also quite unusable in parts of the winter, it would be flooded and people would have to squeeze in their boots.”
Another part of this restoration project is the restoration of the creek in the stream where staff added a buffer of native plants to a straight, narrow channel of the Colquitz River.
“It created small areas of habitat for when the juvenile fish descend in the spring, and it slows down the water.”
There will also be the elimination of the invasive English hawthorn, which will be replaced by native tree species.
The Colquitz River is where freshwater meets seawater and provides important habitat for fish, including salmon, and a variety of invertebrates.
There are also many birds and animals that use the river, such as mink, otters, raccoons, and seals.
Some animals find food and shelter here, for others the river is an important wildlife corridor and restoration projects serve to further protect this wildlife, Riccius said.
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