The Kus-kus-sum site had been a sawmill on the Courtenay River. File photo

Restoration of Kus-kus-sum area in Courtenay to begin June 21

Restoration at the Kus-kus-sum site will begin June 21.

This will be the first of three phases of the restoration works. The first phase will be the removal of hard paving (concrete and asphalt) from the surface of the site. This work will carry through to the end of August. In 2022/2023, workers will be undergoing the earth works and the majority of the planting of the site.

The first phase of restoration will largely be a construction project. Contractors will use excavators and other heavy machinery to remove and crush the concrete. Concrete will be crushed for re-use. Steel rebar and wiring from the surface will be separated out and recycled.

“We are committed to reducing waste and the overall footprint of this restoration project wherever possible,” said Project Watershed executive director, Caitlin Pierzchalski, in a press release. “To allow for removal of hard surfacing, we will have to clear some of the vegetation currently growing on site. You have our assurance that any trees removed will be replaced 10-fold upon restoration. Throughout restoration, there will be noise associated with construction. We will adhere to noise reduction bylaws and keep construction noise limited to the hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Anyone interested in observing the work on-site, is asked to please watch from the river walkway across the Courtenay River rather than parking adjacent to the site or across the road.

“We want to keep everyone safe, and traffic flowing along Comox Road, so we thank you in advance for your understanding,” said Pierzchalski.

Project Watershed acknowledges the community and financial support received for this important ecological project thus far.

“We have received many generous contributions to support our restoration work, but we are still far from the total we will need to fully carry out the work,” said Pierzchalski. “If you’d like to contribute to the restoration of Kus-kus- sum, please see our website ( So far we have confirmed just under a million dollars for the restoration with the support of contributions from BC’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, the World Wildlife Foundation, and the Micah Messent Legacy Fund. We’ve also received generous contributions from many individuals and businesses from within the Comox Valley. For a full list, please see our Friends of Kus-kus-sum page.

“Thank you so much for your support and interest in Kus-kus-sum, if you have any questions feel free to contact us at”

There was a community forum Zoom meeting held on June 17 for an update on the project. The meeting was recorded and can be accessed at

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