A damaged wetland in the Garnett Valley is being restored with a combination of government and volunteer resources.
Located in the Garnett Valley north of Summerland, the wetland is known as Ritchie Lake.
It is being fenced and further protected with the placement of boulders.
At one time the wetland held water year-round and had typical wetland vegetation including bulrushes and even an occurence of spadefoot toad, now listed federally as a species at risk.
Over the years the wetland has been damaged by ATV/off road vehicle mudbogging and cattle.
The partners in the project included South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program (SOSCP); Summerland Sportsmen’s Association; Province of BC (FLNRO Ecosystems, Forest and Range); Conservation Officer Service; and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation Public Conservation Assistance Fund.
HCTF/PCAF provided $6,000 to match the volunteer and FLNRO Range Section-donated materials which included posts and wires.
SSA administered the project including the contract for post pounding, which was performed by Meadow Valley Construction, and the signage to be completed by Peachland Signs.
Total project costs were roughly $10,000 including all materials and volunteer labour (six people, three days). An interpretive sign is also being developed to be posted at the site.
SSA member volunteers who came out to participate were Tim Leardo, Dale Jenner, Dave Chase and Dave Carleton, along with conservation officers Jim Beck and Bob Hamilton, Bryn White of SOSCP and Brian Harris, local wildlife biologist.