Mission Creek project gets new boss

Steve Matthews is highly qualified to lead the project in restoring and protecting Mission Creek.

The Mission Creek Restoration Initiative (MCRI) is moving ahead with Phase-1 construction under the watchful eye of its new project coordinator, Steve Matthews.

With 38 years of provincial fisheries and related project management experience, Matthews is highly qualified to provide practical leadership that supports MCRI’s vision of restoring and protecting Mission Creek to enrich historical, ecological, and recreational values for the Okanagan.

Matthews will begin by organizing and overseeing the set back of portions of the south dike between Casorso Road and Gordon Drive. Expected to start later this fall, this expansion of floodplains and riparian areas will help to increase fish habitat and populations. Complementary objectives are to expand biodiversity and species at risk, improve flood protection, and inspire and support community stewardship.

Project coordinator Steve Matthews leads MCRI Phase-1 construction project

“Based on my experience with other large-scale restoration projects,” says Matthews, “MCRI has huge potential over the long term for providing a wide range of benefits for Kelowna and area, and will be key to recovery of Okanagan Lake fish stocks.”

Collaboration is Key to Project Success

The success of important community projects depends on passionate and innovative collaboration among people from all sectors, and MCRI is no exception. Founding partners include the Province of BC, Regional District of Central Okanagan, City of Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Friends of Mission Creek, and Central Okanagan Land Trust. Subsequent contributors have included consulting engineers from a variety of firms and engineering students from UBCO`s Capstone Project, who recenlty undertook detailed design for the Phase-1 dike setback under the supervision of experienced water engineers. Once approved by the province, the design will guide dike reconstruction and related in-stream fisheries work.

“Okanagan residents also have an important role to play,” says Matthews. “During construction there will be tree-planting opportunities. Once construction is complete, volunteers can help with monitoring and story mapping. Stay tuned for more details.”

For more information contact Joanne de Vries at 250-766-1777 or jo@freshoutlookfoundation.org.