Restoration of an old hay field is not just about putting trees in ground — in many ways that’s the easy part (although it was hot, back breaking and exhausting). Here are a few of the other projects we are undertaking…as time and resources permit to restore the ecosystem in the area.
Ephemeral stream hydrology: An ephemeral stream is an intermittent or seasonal flow of water. Located in the treed copse in the middle of the field is a wet area surrounded by cranberry, cottonwood, birch, aspen and other diverse species. In the spring in particular this area collects runoff from the surrounding field slowly draining to the east to the wetland. We think originally it connected diagonally to the NW but the original connection at the NW end was filled in with old trees and soil when the field was originally cleared. Restoring this part of the hydrology is a bit beyond our capability and probably not truly necessary….these are non-fish bearing areas and their are plenty of surrounding small wetlands that support diverse species.
The wet area in this treed island in the middle of the field was a different story, however. Just about in the centre of the tree island a tractor path had been created by filling the area and the wet area. This essentially acted as a damn leading to large pools of water to collect on the upstream (west) side sometimes throughout the year depending on the precipitation. And since we also like to hike around the field and across this path it resulted in some pretty muddy feet and a typically impassable area in the spring in particular.
In fall of 2017 we enticed a local park neighbour to bring his backhoe into service. After a review and inspection by BC Park staff, Jim carefully dredged a narrow corridor running east/west in the treed island at it’s lowest point to allow water to run freely. This was a small but important action in restoration.
We were thrilled spring 2018 to see excess water flowing along the recreated stream channel.
And, to help out the human hikers, we added a small and simple footbridge across the area and brushed out the pathway that was becoming a bit overgrown as part of our Spring 2018 plant-in activities.
EcoSlices: (to follow)
Coarse Woody Debris: (to follow)