Success of Mission Creek restoration work hailed in Kelowna

Returning part of the creek to its natural state will help drainage, reduce the risk of flooding, aid the eco-system and help fish habitat.

Tara White

The completion of the first phase of the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative was celebrated Wednesday afternoon in Kelowna, with representatives of the groups involved in the work touting its success.

A 500-metre section of the creek, one of the most important feeders of Okanagan Lake and home to kokanee fish spawning areas, has been restored to its natural state by the moving the dyke and expanding flood plain.

The $2 million project, carried out in two phases, saw the second phase completed in late August.

Small pools and a meandering stream now cover 2.5-hectares of additional area of wetland between the Casorso Bridge and Gordon Crive, a move expected to help bring back fish stocks to the creek.

“We are correcting the mistake of our forefathers,” said a representative of the Friends of Mission Creek the ceremony Wednesday. She was referring to the straightening out of the creek in the past, changes that had a detrimental effects on the creek, area drainage, the local eco-system and fish habitat.

On hand at the ceremony were provincial, city and First Nations representatives, who worked many other stakeholder groups on the project.

All expressed the hope that further improvements can be made to Mission Creek to build on the success of the first phase of restoration work.

To learn more about why the restoration project is so key to the community’s ecological health, click this link.