Salmon Arm  

CSISS and partners are continuing the Blanket Creek Restoration project to rid the area of invasive plants

Restoring Blanket Creek

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society in partnership with BC Parks and Shearing Consultants Ltd is in their second year of the Blanket Creek Restoration project.

“Now in the second year of the project, indigenous shrubs and trees have been planted to restore an invasive plant infested meadow at Blanket Creek Provincial Park,” says CSISS.

Blanket Creek Provincial Park is located within the traditional territories of the Sinxt, the Ktunaxa, the Secwepemc and the Syilx First Nations.

The park protects important conservation values for Kokanee spawning and winter ungulate range. It contains white pine and mature second growth stands of western hemlock and western cedar.

CSISS says the historical disturbance from a gravel pit in one area of the park created ideal conditions for invasive plants to become established, competing with native species for light, water and resources.

“The purpose of the project intends to support the natural ecosystem, by encouraging natural regeneration of local vegetation by re-establishing native plant species,” says CSISS Executive Director Robyn Hooper.

There are two sites within the park that have been identified for focused planting and reseeding of native species. The hope with the project is that planting a diverse range of local plant species will displace invasive plants.

The project began in the fall of 2020, with volunteers planting 75 native shrubs, trees and seeding native grass, shrubs and forbs.

The spring saw promising signs of new growth yet despite the CSISS’ best efforts and watering one to two times per week there was some die off due to the prolonged heatwave and drought.

This fall, however, the restoration area was greatly expanded thanks to the collaboration with staff and project volunteers.

Over the course of eight days, 441 trees and shrubs were planted, 100 cottonwood stakes were installed, and a 2300 m² area was seeded.

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