Mandy Ross, a biologist with Simpcw Resources, her family and a number of other wetland specialists were in town last weekend to visit Cranberry Marsh, a provincial Wildlife Management Area. Tina Donald of Simpcw First Nation and Ross provided education to local students and residents generally. Also on hand were reps from Ducks Unlimited and the Province. On Saturday, Ross invited the community to help pull and prune invasive species as well as to plant native species to fill in the gaps. L-R: Janey Weeks, Cathy Greenhough, Angela Balon, Rhondi Hurlbut, Andrew and Mandy Ross. /LAURA KEIL
Ross said the native species they planted included pink spirea, red osier dogwood, lodgepole pine, birchleaf spirea and yarrow. They planted 160 new plants in the “Old Dump” area of the marsh over two days, and filled many garbage bags with invasives. Some dumps have a special location to dispose of invasives. /LAURA KEIL
The diversity of small animals found in a random sampling of marsh waters is an indicator of good water quality, says Bethany Walsh, an environmental professional focussed on wetlands and terrestrial wildlife, with Simpcw Resources. /LAURA KEIL
Invasives such as Canadian Thistle and Knapweed have become major problems at the marsh, choking out native species and spreading quickly. /LAURA KEIL
Local volunteer Janey Weeks said while the invasives are here to stay, it’s important to manage them. She’s been coming here 48 years and has definitely noticed an increase. The event was funded by Columbia Basin Trust. /LAURA KEIL