News

Environment minister approves of creek restoration

Environment minister Mary Polak learns about plans to re-naturalize Mission Creek to improve habitat, from Todd Cashin, right, the city’s environment and lands manager, with assistance from Nelson Jatel, water stewardship director for the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and Norm Letnick, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA. - Judie Steeves/Capital News
Environment minister Mary Polak learns about plans to re-naturalize Mission Creek to improve habitat, from Todd Cashin, right, the city’s environment and lands manager, with assistance from Nelson Jatel, water stewardship director for the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and Norm Letnick, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA.
— image credit: Judie Steeves/Capital News

Environment minister Mary Polak got a close look this week at plans for a restoration of Mission Creek’s natural meanders in its lower reaches, and was positive about a project to set back the dikes which currently restrict its flows.

She was impressed by the number of agencies working together on the project, called the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative, as described for her by Todd Cashin, manager of subdivision, agriculture and environment for the City of Kelowna

The minister was visiting Kelowna to encourage people to comment on provincial proposals for a new water act. While here, she toured a property which was recently acquired in order to provide land where the dikes could be set back to allow the creak to meander more like it used to, before it was channelized to try and prevent flooding.

Re-naturalizing the creek will increase habitat for fish, birds, insects and aquatic creatures while providing more space for the creek to spread out during spring runoff without cresting the dikes and flooding adjacent lands, he explained.

The popular Mission Creek Greenway would just be re-routed to the new, set-back dikes so walkers, runners and riders would actually gain a longer trail.

The creek drains the largest watershed within the Okanagan Basin and provides a quarter of the water that flows into Okanagan Lake, but  where the main channel was historically 60 to 80 metres wide and 30 kilometres long through the city, it is currently about 31 metres across and just 11 kilometres long.

The parcel the minister toured will be a pilot project to show what can be achieved.

The MCRI project involves the city, regional district, province and federal government as well as the Central Okanagan Land Trust, Friends of Mission Creek, Okanagan Nation Alliance and Westbank First Nation.

Details are on the website at: www.missioncreek.ca

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.