Over the summer Comox Valley Project Watershed Society working with Leighton Contracting LTD, a K’ómoks Economic Development Corporation joint venture partner, began the process of regrading the Kus-kus-sum site to natural streamside elevations.
“A portion of the site is now at the appropriate elevations and is ready for planting,” said Caitlin Pierzchalski, executive director for Project Watershed. “We are excited to welcome locals and Ocean Bridge participants onsite to assist with this part of the restoration process.”
Planting days for the community have been set for Oct. 5, 6 and 10 and the Ocean Bridge participants will be planting on Oct. 4. Comox Valley Project Watershed Society has partnered with the Ocean Bridge program of Ocean Wise before with their Forage Fish Project.
“Ocean Bridge participants are aspiring young environmental stewards that come from all over Canada and we are happy to host the program participants. They gain experience and we gain enthusiastic hands to support our work,” said Pierzchalski.
All members of the community physically able to navigate rough terrain and engage in planting activities such as digging holes and lifting plants are welcome to volunteer to help plant. There will be a morning shift from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon shift from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Each shift is limited to 15 volunteers to ensure that there are enough tools to accommodate everyone. To sign up to volunteer visit projectwatershed.ca.
Project Watershed is aiming to plant around 5,000 native streamside species in the prepared area before the weather turns to winter. They will be planting upland and tidal marsh plants such as Sitka spruce, salmonberry and sedges.
This fall about 1/3 of the total number of plants will be planted. This is because only a portion of the site is ready for planting. In the early spring, earthworks will continue to prepare the remaining portion of the site for planting. More planting events will occur in the spring as the areas to receive plants are ready.
“While we have raised over 70 per cent of the funds for the restoration process, we still have a way to go,” said Caila Holbrook, manager of outreach and education. “We are still accepting any and all donations to help us raise the remain funds so that we can complete the restoration.”
Donations to the project can be made at projectwatershed.ca/donate