Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society encouraging people to take part in BC Rivers Day

More plants, better water

People are being invited to plant a tree to help the environment.

In celebration of BC Rivers Day, Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society in partnership with the City of Vernon are inviting people to enhance the wetland and riparian habitat along BX Creek at Deleenheer Road Saturday, Sept. 25.

Volunteers will be planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the creek bank.

Riparian areas are the areas of thick plant growth along streams, creeks, rivers and ponds.

They are an important, but dwindling, resource for both people and wildlife.

The OSSS said uyrban and agricultural development has resulted in the loss of more than 75 per cent of riparian habitats in the Okanagan.

These areas of vegetation are the last line of defense for water that's running off the land into our lakes and streams, acting as a filtration system.

Healthy riparian areas help filter out pollutants and sediment from runoff. The roots from trees, underbrush and other lush vegetation help stabilize banks, decrease soil erosion, and aid in flood protection by slowing and absorbing high stream flows.

The areas are also important for wildlife. Nearly 85 per cent of all Okanagan species depend on riparian habitats or use them regularly.

They provide food, shelter, water, nesting sites and wildlife corridors. Forests along the edges of water courses and water bodies help shade the water and keep it cooler during the hot summer months, which is vital for fish like salmon that breed in streams and rivers. 25.

Due to COVID protocols, people are being asked to RSVP online.

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