Learning to care for wetlands

A joint FVWC and BCWF course taught 30 participants the ecology of wetlands in Mission

Mission's Klair Phillipoff is a fourth-year biology major at University of the Fraser Valley and took the wetlandskeeper course this past weekend in Mission.

A two-day hands-on workshop has left 30 participants better educated about local wetlands.

The Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition (FVWC) and B.C. Wildlife Federation co-hosted the wetland keepers course April 13-15 in Mission, which drew community members, naturalists, public service employees and professors, among others.

All the participants learned how to classify wetlands and appreciate their intrinsic values, as well as identify competing land-use needs and how to monitor the areas through vegetation and amphibian surveys.

One of the key messages delivered was the importance of forming partnerships and working together to address watershed challenges. It also offered participants ideas on how to get involved and included presentations from local groups such as the Fraser Valley Conservancy and the Society for Ecological Restoration.

Access to Silverdale wetlands was granted by Ducks Unlimited and the District of Mission.

The FVWC is a not-for-profit charitable organization and coalition working to promote healthy watersheds in the Fraser Valley by facilitating understanding and action in local communities. For more information visit www.fvwc.ca.

The BCWF is also a not-for-profit group, and its Wetlands Education Program delivers wetland education that builds the capacity of individuals and groups to assess wetland assets, and using this new knowledge, to increase community health. More information is available at www.bcwf.bc.ca.