The ecological restoration work on Alexander Creek is well underway and looking good!
On Monday volunteers took cuttings from cottonwood, willow and dogwood plants, and yesterday staff and one extremely dedicated volunteer got up super early to finish the job. We planted two rows of brush layers containing the cuttings along the eroded slope, and in the spring time when the snow melts the cuttings will come out of dormancy and begin to grow roots and shoots.
Over time the roots will spread through the soil and stabilize the slope without the need for riprap. Footer logs and root wads where also placed at the base of the slope to deflect the energy of the stream away from the stream bank, with the added bonus of providing fish habitat.
A huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped out with this project! And also a big thanks to our funders that have made this possible: Lotic Environmental, Teck, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Sparwood and District Fish and Wildlife Association, Columbia Basin Trust, Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program and Cantor.
As part of Thomas Porter's final project for a University of Lethbridge geography course, this BSc student produced "Understanding our watershed: assessing flood risk in the Elk River watershed'. This video highlights a unique approach and partnership between community-based water group the Elk River Alliance and academics from the University of Lethbridge. Citizens, academics, professionals, and community leaders all contributed to the development of this grassroots initiated flood strategy following the 2013 flood and which was completed in May 2016.Read more
In May 2016, Mrs. Purdy’s grade 4 class and Mrs. Kroeker’s grade 8 class joined forces with the Elk River Alliance, Elk Valley Wildsight, and the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council to help restore the Beaver Wetland in Sparwood. The students helped with wetland mapping, identification and removal of invasive plant species, planting native vegetation, examining the benthic invertebrate population of the wetland as well as contributing to the excellent signage posted at the Beaver Wetland, see signs below!
A big thanks to the students, and also to our funders: BC Wildlife Federation, Environment Canada, District of Sparwood, Sparwood Community Futures, Elk Valley Thrift Store Society
We have some amazing bioengineering projects coming up, and they need some volunteers just like you!
On Lizard Creek we are have previously worked to stabilize an eroded bank, and are going back on October 17 & 19 for some further enhancement. If you're interested in learning about bioengineering methods, we're looking at you! Message firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
We are also working on a bank stabilization project on Alexander Creek and will be conducting the first step in this process on October 22: a site cleanup and planting party! We'll also start taking cuttings to be used for the rest of the project on November 7. Again, message email@example.com if you're interested in learning something new and unique!
Join us for this year's 6th annual Elk River Shoreline Cleanup! We meet in Fernie at the Annex Park, Sparwood at the Leisure Centre and Elkford at the Aquatic Centre to adopt sites along the river and clean them up at 1pm on September 25th! Join us for the clean up and then celebrate in a volunteer appreciation event afterwards! Get involved and show your love for the Elk River!
Are you interested in knowing where the Elk River could rise to in the event of a flood? Wondering if you are located in the floodplain? Look no further! The Free Press has published another one of our articles, Current Connections - Knowing Where the River May Go!
This article looks at the current and future predicted flood regime, including details about hydrological models and web-based visualization tool produced in the Flood Strategy to help explain flooding in the area. Check it out!
Calling all ladies!
Interested in coming out for an evening fly fishing with other keen fisherwomen, or keen to just learn about fly fishing in the area? Then this is an opportunity for you!
Come get together with some gals to go fishing on August 23 with Women on the Fly! Women on the Fly will meet at the Wildsight/Elk River Alliance office (891 2nd Ave, Fernie BC) at 6:30PM and then head out fishing at a few places in town and/or out by Fernie Alpine Resort.
There is no cost but a valid fishing license is mandatory to fish in the stream. If you're interested in coming to hang out but don't have a license, we would like to encourage you to come join and learn to cast on land!
The Flood Solutions Strategy is a 125 page report that aims to help members of the Elk Valley prepare for future floods. It provides a foundational understanding in the hydrology and behaviour of the watershed, future effects of land use and climate change, and flood management strategies that would effectively protect people and critical infrastructure, as well as protect watershed function and wildlife habitat. However, we know that not everyone has the time to read 125 pages, and so we have broken the report down into bite-sized, tasty articles that are available from the Free Press!
Check out Current Connections Article 1 to find out about how the natural history and geology of the Elk Valley affects flooding in the region, and check out Article 2 to find out how community has and is responding to flooding in the Elk Valley!
For this "Water Quality Wednesday" I'd like to give a shout out to all of the amazing Streamkeepers volunteers who have come out to help collect high and low flow water quality data! Since 2011, we've tallied over 1000 volunteer hours for our community-based water monitoring program. WOW! Thanks Streamkeepers, for all of your hard work and dedication to monitoring water quality in the Elk Valley and for your contribution to increasing waters literacy in the area.
To see some of the data that these incredible volunteers have collected, visit the resource section of our website: http://www.elkriveralliance.ca/water_quality
Are you interested in becoming a Streamkeeper? Let us know! The ERA will be facilitating another Streamkeepers course later this summer. Stay tuned for details!!