Design maps for the planned restoration of Kus-kus-sum. Photo by Terry Farrell

Project Watershed to host public info night regarding Kus-Kus-sum

Unpave Paradise: The Past, Present and Future of Kus-kus-sum

Project Watershed is undertaking one of the largest, most high-profile initiatives in local conservation history – a partnership with the K’omoks First Nation (KFN) and the City of Courtenay to “unpave paradise” and restore the former sawmill site on the Courtenay River to estuary and riverside forest. Named Kus-kus-sum, the initiative honours the historic uses of this area in KFN’s unceded traditional territory.

On Thurs. Nov. 30, 7 p.m. at the Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College, Project Watershed will host a public information night about the project, featuring guest experts, including Scott Wallace from the David Suzuki Foundation. Speakers will use multimedia presentations to share stories about the past, present and future of Kus-kus-sum, focusing on its unique historic and environmental values. The event will include an audience Q&A facilitated by Sharon Edwards, former CBC Radio host. Admission is free, donations appreciated. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The multi-year $6.5M Kus-kus-sum project will remove 3.5 hectares of pavement and a notorious salmon “killing wall” while delivering many community benefits ranging from improved nature access and habitat enhancement to more recreational opportunities and a revitalized riverfront.

“Many people have heard that something is happening with this area,” says Caila Holbrook, Project Watershed’s outreach co-ordinator. “The Nov. 30 info night will answer people’s big questions on issues such as project importance, soil contamination and the fundraising initiatives required to raise the money needed to restore this crucial habitat.”

“The K’ómoks Estuary is at a crossroads,” says Tim Ennis, project manager and executive director of the Comox Valley Land Trust. “Restoring this important section of the waterway to its natural features will create the most returns on investment for the community. If successful in our fundraising efforts, Kus-kus-sum will support cleaner air, cleaner water and enhanced community wellbeing, while helping absorb future flooding and offsetting climate change impacts. This innovative project can make us a leader in BC and Canada and we’re building partnerships on that basis.”

The Nov. 30 info night will explore why Kus-kus-sum is an opportunity for the Comox Valley to create a valuable legacy and restore our relationship with the world-class K’omoks Estuary.

“After more than a century of industrial service and decline in ecological function, we have the chance to live with this section of the river in a way that’s better for everyone,” says Paul Horgan, chair of Project Watershed’s board. Kus-kus-sum is in a two-year land acquisition and fundraising phase. The first goal is to raise $100K by Dec. 20. The total target of local fundraising is $500K by 2019.

For more information on the Nov. 30 Unpave Paradise public info night, visit projectwatershed.ca/

 

Representing the three partners in the project, Courtenay Councillor Doug Hillian, K’ómoks First Nation Chief Councillor Nicole Rempel and Project Watershed chair Paul Horgen pose for a photo at the estuary, across from the sawmill site that will be restored. Photo by John Bonner.

Residents gathered on the lawn in front of Local restaurant to celebrate the kick-off of the Keeping it Living restoration project. Photo by Terry Farrell

Just Posted

Comox Valley Monarch Lions help ‘SPOT’ possible student vision problems

When Helen Keller challenged Lions Clubs International in 1925 to become “Knights… Continue reading

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

North Island College Foundation helps more students than ever in the Comox Valley

More than 170 North Island College students in the Comox Valley received… Continue reading

Courtenay mom warns of candy-luring incident near Willemar Road

A Courtenay mother is speaking out after a man was reported to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Most Read