Mission-based environmental society wants to clean up salmon stream

Volunteers needed for Oct. 6 clean up of a local area threatened by human activities

The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) and the Mission Environmental Stewardship Society (MESS) are co-hosting a volunteer work party on Saturday, Oct. 6 to clean up a local salmon stream threatened by human activities.

This volunteer event will be held at the FVC’s Conservation property in Mission, which contains a section of Windebank Creek. The FVC acquired this property after a fisheries violation in 2008 in which streamside vegetation was illegally logged. Since 2012, FVC staff have been working hard to restore this important salmon habitat.

“We see salmon returning to spawn in this creek every fall,” said Joanne Neilson, executive director for the FVC. “Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, we have also seen a dramatic increase in the number of people trespassing, damaging the vegetation we’ve worked so hard to replant, and leaving their garbage behind.”

According to a press release issued by the group, these activities are causing environmental damage, which is threatening the salmon population in this already sensitive waterway.

“We have tried talking to people, putting up signs, and cleaning up the garbage on our own, but things are starting to get really out of hand,” said Neilson.

Now, the FVC and MESS are teaming up to get the community involved in supporting this local restoration project. Volunteers are needed to help clean up the site, clip back blackberry, and plant trees in preparation for the fall salmon return.

“We’re hoping that we can all come together as a community to help restore and maintain this habitat for salmon and other wildlife. We need people to care, because the salmon living in this stream can’t speak for themselves.”

During the Oct. 6 event, people will get a chance to enter this protected conservation property, and chat with FVC staff about the history of the site. The FVC is preparing a special lunch time presentation for volunteers to show the progress that’s been made at this site over the last six years to improve this stream for juvenile and spawning salmon.

Organizers say this is an opportunity for community members to get involved in stewardship of their local waterways, and to learn more about this local urban stream.

Registering ahead of time for this volunteer work party is encouraged, but not required. For more information, contact the FVC at info@fraservalleyconservancy.ca or 604-625-0066.

To learn more about the FVC and the work they do, visit www.fraservalleyconservancy.ca. To learn more about MESS and the work they do, visit www.messociety.org.


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