Another inspiring day at Windebank!

One of the best things about working in the conservation sector is witnessing first-hand the amazing ability of nature to rebound and the dedication of community volunteers to help out. This was reinforced to us yet again during our latest work party at Windebank Creek this past weekend…

Our great group of volunteers!

Our fantastic group of volunteers!

This salmon bearing stream in Mission has been continually impacted by us humans: it has been diverted from its original course to create enough land to build a shopping mall; its natural channel width has been limited by land use of the surrounding landscapes; it was illegally cleared of it riparian vegetation in 2008; it regularly experiences large amounts sediment and debris washing downstream during heavy rain events which alters the stream bed; and yet, the salmon continue to return to spawn every year!

It was great to have our regular volunteers return along with lots of new faces help us clean-up our section of Windebank Creek on Saturday. We continued our battle against the blackberry which will allow the native plants to establish themselves and eventually out-compete the blackberry. This will ultimately create a more diverse riparian habitat to shade the stream and provide habitat for non-aquatic species, and we can already see areas of improvement. We repaired sections of damaged fencing and removed a pick-up truck load of garbage from the site; we are installing sensitive habitat signage in an effort to dissuade the ongoing inappropriate use of this property.

We learned about the work the Mission of Stream Streamkeepers group has been doing monitoring the site (8 spawning Chum counted along this stream last week, and 37 the week before!).

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

A group of BCIT Ecological Restoration students have taken on the site for their project and will be doing all sorts of interesting surveys and restoration work on the site in the coming year. It is very exciting to see all the enthusiasm to help this site return to a functioning ecosystem.

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

Thanks everyone!

AGM June 16th! Come out and hear about the conservation work being done in your community…

 

Annual General Meeting

June 16th, 2015 7:00 pm 33167 2nd Avenue, Mission BC

Join us at our new office space to hear and see what we’ve been up to this past year!

  • Be inspired by a presentation from Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of the Nature Trust of BC, as he shares with us his vision for land trusts
  • See presentations on projects we have been working on
  • Meet the FVC staff, Directors, and members
  • Ask questions and make suggestions

Light snacks will be served during a meet and greet starting at 6:30, meeting commences at 7:00pm

If you have any questions feel free to phone the office (604-625-0066) or e-mail joanne@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Summer Student Work Opportunities at FVC…

The FVC is looking for two curious, hard-working and keen Student Conservation Stewards to join our team for the summer of 2015!

 

The summer students will work as part of a crew, under the supervision of Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) biologists and alongside community volunteers. They will be assisting with:

  • managing FVC conservation properties including invasive species control, restoration work as well as baseline surveys (photo-point monitoring, vegetation, gastropod, and mammal surveys);
  • monitoring juvenile Western Toad migration and participating in the installation of an amphibian crossing structure;
  • working with partner organizations assisting with fish salvage and stream restoration (including bio-engineering); and,
  • organizing and hosting outreach events, engaging youth volunteers, and promoting conservation values to the community.

These positions are a great opportunity to gain experience in conservation field. While we do not require extensive previous work experience, we will be seeking candidates that have some experience (work, volunteer or academic) in the follow areas:

  • Physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions
  • Keen interest in local conservation issues
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Must have access to a reliable personal vehicle as the work will take place around the Fraser Valley (Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission). The students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the daily meeting locations in each community
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule (which can include evenings and weekends) to coincide with toad migrations and public events

Additional qualifications that will be considered an asset:

  • Knowledge of amphibian biology, wetland ecology and species at risk issues (especially local species and ecosystems)
  • Field work experience; including monitoring methods, data collection, data analysis and technical reporting
  • Streamkeeper or other related volunteer experience
  • GPS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting events
  • Experience with construction projects (such as temporary fence building)

These positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program; therefore candidates must meet the following qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in post-secondary education (must have been registered full-time in the previous academic year and returning to full time studies in September 2015)
  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age (as of May 25th, 2015)
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred and be legally entitled to work in Canada

Two student stewards will be hired (funding dependent) as term employees from May 25th 2015 to August 22, 2015. The rate of pay will be $13.50 per hour, 32 hours per week.

To apply please email a cover letter and resume clearly outlining how you meet the above requirements and resume to applications@fraservalleyconservany.ca.

Resumes will be accepted until 8:00 am Monday April 20th, 2015. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted by April 24th and interviews will take place the week of April 27th.

Spring Break Employment for High School Students Interested in Conservation in Agassiz!

Are you a grade 11 or 12 student who likes spending time exploring the outdoors, learning new things and getting soaking wet and muddy? Are you fascinated by frogs and wetlands? If so our partners on the Spotted Frog Project have a couple of unique opportunities for the right people. Please note this work is in Agassiz in the Eastern Fraser Valley and is not accessible by public transit – due to this limitation all students must be either based in Agassiz or have the ability (i.e. a car) to get to the meeting site in Agassiz daily.

No phone calls please! Direct all inquiries and applications to applications@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Student_position_2015

One more work party at Windebank before Winter sets in!

The rains have come, the weirs are working and the salmon are spawning!

Now all we need to do is plant another round of 80 cedar and alder trees in the recently cleared area so they are all ready to grow come next spring. Come join us on Monday, November 10th from 10am to 2pm to help plant and we’ll likely be cutting back the blackberry – yet again!

Al Jonsson, our project partner from DFO will be stopping in at lunchtime to see how the weirs are functioning and will talk about what the fish are currently up to in the creek.

All our work for this planting will be taking place well away from the stream but the ground is still really soggy so gumboots are highly recommended. Please dress appropriately for the weather – its November who knows what it will do! We will have lots of shovels on hand, as well as some extra gloves and pruners.  We will be at the usual location: the dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission (you will see the gate to our property which lies below the mall that is on the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector),

If you can confirm you will be attending  that would be great, send us a quick email to let us know so we have enough supplies on hand. If you want to just decide and show up on the day, that is fine too – the more the merrier!

Celebrate World Rivers Day by helping us clean-up the Chilliwack River

 Sunday September 28th, 2014

Come join the FVC and other groups to clean-up the banks of the Chilliwack river on Sunday September 28th! It is a family friendly event that helps keep garbage out of the river and provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenery along our adopted section of this spectacular river.

This event is hosted by the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society.

This is a special clean-up event in celebration of World Rivers Day and registration will be at the Chilliwack Fish and Game Club House at 48685 Chilliwack Lake Road. Registration starts at 8:30am We will head out at 9:30 am to our nearby section of the river (between Sleese Road and the Tamahi Bridge) and will be done by noon. Afterwards there will be a volunteer appreciation BBQ, entertainment and draw prizes.

Please ensure you dress appropriately for the weather!
Clean up tools and bags will be provided.

If you have any questions feel free to call 604-625-0066 or email.

Attention salmon: great new digs for your offspring available in Windebank Creek!

We had a rewarding and productive weekend on Sept 13th and 14th, re-creating fish habitat in Windebank Creek. Forty-one hard-working volunteers came out and learned how to build fish habitat; together we constructed 7 Newbury weirs.  We also created shade structures above the pools that will form downstream of each new weir. We continued our ongoing battle with blackberry by cutting back the plants that incessantly try to take over the site. A huge thanks to all our returning volunteers as well as all the new faces – we couldn’t have done this without you!

In addition to the enormous volunteer contribution, this project was made possible through support from Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada staff, Mission of Streams Streamkeepers and a BC Hydro PowerSmart donation. Mainland Sand and Gravel donated the rock and the District of Mission donated the wood supplies.

Thanks Everyone!!!

The Mission Record took some great photos and below is a photo summary of the work done. The next event at Windebank will be in November, at which time we will embark on a final attack of the blackberry before winter and plant some cedar and alder trees in a few key areas. By that time we should be able to see salmon spawners using the new habitat.