A conservation gathering at BC's Quamichan wetlands
Water sampling at Quamichan wetlands
Wetlands are amongst the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth and it takes team work to care for them.
A group of over 30 Conservation Volunteers and staff from Habitat Acquisition Trust, Cowichan Land Trust, Parks Canada, Quamichan Watershed Stewardship Society, Cowichan Young Naturalists Club, Canada World Youth, Saanich Native Plant Nursery and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) recently joined forces to continue restoration efforts at Quamichan wetlands at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve on Vancouver Island.
In 2012, NCC and the Quamichan Watershed Stewardship Society created the Quamichan wetlands to help protect Quamichan Lake and halt its declining health. The new wetlands help remove nutrients and sediments from runoff entering the lake, break down suspended solids, absorb chemicals and neutralize harmful bacteria.
Volunteers worked in teams and spent a sunny day identifying invertebrates, which provide clues to wetland and lake health, testing water quality, collecting native seeds and taking cuttings from live shrubs that will be used to stabilize wetland banks from erosion.
“Experts demonstrated for our volunteers how to collect native seeds and properly take shrub cuttings. We planted red-osier dogwood and collected sweet gale, nootka rose, cluster rose and slough sedge seeds. Volunteers potted and watered the hardhack stems they had cut. Once the seeds are propagated and the shrub cuttings are ready, they will be planted back into the wetland they were collected from,” says Katy Fulton, NCC stewardship coordinator in BC.
Interested in getting involved in wetland restoration? NCC has another shrub cutting and bank stabilization event coming up in December! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.