Volunteer: Salmon in the City

>>Click Here to Register<<

The Work

  • We’re looking for energetic volunteers to help us with the ongoing restoration of Windebank Creek.
  • This will involve picking up garbage on the property, some invasive plant control, as well as helping us plant native shrubs.
  • You will also get an opportunity to learn about the history of Windebank Creek, see in-person the salmon who depend on it, and the impacts of climate change

Why it’s Helpful

  • Windebank Creek is a salmon-bearing creek that runs through a FVC conservation property in Mission, BC. You will be helping us keep the property in top condition for the fish and wildlife that call the area home.
  • The fight against invasive plant species is always ongoing, and your planting of native trees and shrubs will help shade the stream and make it a beautiful space.

Responsibilities

  • Pick up litter on the property.
  • Digging holes and planting native trees and shrubs.
  • Come with an open mind for learning!

Requirements

  • Be prepared to spend the time outdoors with minimal seating options, RAIN OR SHINE.
  • Be prepared to clip blackberry, pull morning glory, remove garbage, and plant!
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing & sturdy footwear (hiking boots are recommended).
  • Bring your own refillable water bottle or coffee mug.

Training/Equipment

  • If you’re able to, bring your own gloves.
  • Disposable gloves, trash bags and tools for litter pick-up will be provided.
  • Shovels and any other planting tools will be provided.
  • Planting training will be provided on site at the beginning of the day.

Safety

  • Bring your mask (mandatory) to wear for check-in, and when less than 2 meters apart from people.

Setting

  • Outdoors at Windebank Creek.

Location

  • Windebank Creek Conservation Property, Mission, BC.
    We will be meeting at the dead-end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission
    (Enter “Embers BBQ House” into Google and you will be next to the gate to our property).

Commitment

  • Saturday, November 13th, 2021
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • RAIN OR SHINE

Lunch will be provided for all who attend!

>>Click Here to Register<<

By registering ahead of time, it will allow us to have enough supplies on hand.

However, if you don’t know your schedule in advance, that’s fine too. Just drop in on the day, the more the merrier! Please feel free to forward this on to anyone else you think may be interested.

Thank you for your interest in Salmon in the City!

Windebank Creek Restoration Update – Fall 2018

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We would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help us restore salmon habitat at this year’s annual Fall Clean-up at Windebank Creek!

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We had 26 energetic volunteers join us on a sunny Saturday in October to help us improve Windebank Creek in preparation for the fall return of the spawning salmon.
Armed with our tools and a shared enthusiasm for local habitat conservation,  we split up into groups to pick up garbage, remove invasive species, and plant native shrubs along the banks of the creek.
One of our biggest accomplishments was clearning all the invasive morning glory that was taking over the willow whips. These were planted last fall to help stabalize the creek bank.

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We were also able to expand our restoration area, planting over 300 new native plants in northern section of the property this year. These included snowberry, nootka rose, red-osier dogwood, salmonberry, thimbleberry, vine-maple, big-leaf maple, and western red cedar.

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We finished off our day with a lunch-time talk by Scott the Community Advisor from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He shared his knowledge about fish and urban streams, and encouraged us to start monitoring this site for salmon spawners, fry, and water quality. Collecting this information will help us assess the sustainability of this urban creek’s salmon population.

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We love inviting the community to this annual event so they can see the progress we’re making at this site. They can see our native plantings recolonizing this impacted site. The nootka rose is finally growing taller than the blackberry, and we are well on our way to our invasive species control for this site. In case you missed it, you can watch the video below give you an idea of what we accomplished this year’s clean-up.

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The  Mission Environmental Stewardship Society was a partner for this year’s Windebank Creek Clean-up. Thank you for helping us engage our community in nature stewardship.


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This resoration work at Windebank Creek is made possible with a Land Stewardship Grant from the:

Clean-Up and Planting at Windebank Creek!

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Let’s work together to

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You’re invited to a Volunteer Work Party at Windebank Creek
on Saturday, October 6th!

Windebank Creek is a salmon-bearing creek that runs through a FVC conservation property in Mission, BC. We’re looking for energetic volunteers to help us plant treesclean up the creek in preparation for the fall salmon return!
Learn about the history of Windebank creek, enjoy a talk from a fisheries expert, and make a difference for the salmon that depend on it!
This event is run in collaboration with the Mission Environmental Stewardship Society.

Event Details
Location: Windebank Creek Conservation Property, Mission, BC.
As usual, we will meeting at: the dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission 
(follow signs for “Embers BBQ House”, and you will find the gate to our property which lies below the mall that is on the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector)
Date: Saturday, October 6th. RAIN OR SHINE.
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

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Get ready to clip blackberry, plant trees, and remove garbage! To be prepared, you should:
  • Wear weather and temperature appropriate clothing
  • Wear sturdy footwear (rubber boots recommended)
  • Bring plenty of water
*All tools will be provided by the FVC
LUNCH will be provided for everyone who helps out!

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. Don’t know your schedule in advance? That’s fine too, just drop in on us – the more the merrier! Please feel free to forward this on to anyone else you think may be nterested.
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or call us at (604-625-0066).

It’s Snail Season!

 

During our snail survey earlier this month, we found over 30 Oregon Forestsnails and Pacific Sidebands on our Three Creeks property in Abbotsford! This warm, wet weather has coaxed our native snails out of hiding!

 

FVC staff survey this property every year in the Spring and Fall in order to learn more about our native land snail populations. We’re particularly interested in learning more about the Oregon Forestsnail, a federally listed species at risk. In fact, the Fraser Valley is one of the only locations in all of Canada with known populations of the endangered Oregon Forestsnail (OFS). The Fraser Valley Conservancy has been monitoring these OFS populations since 2014, using methodology they developed with species experts.

The bigleaf maple forest on the FVC’s Three Creeks property (as you can see in the image below), with its moist understory and large patches of stinging nettle, is a suitable habitat for these snails. So, in early May, protected by long pants and long sleeves, Sofi and I got down on our hands and knees to search understory plants and leaflitter for snails of all kinds! .

Sofi searching the forest for our plot markers

 

This was my first time searching for snails on a FVC property, but Sofi is a seasoned expert. She showed me how to get down low to look for snails at different angles through the underbrush, and how to carefully paw through the leaf litter so as not to disturb the environment during our search.

Hillary and the sNAIL salon!

At each of the 19 randomized plots set up throughout the property, we spent 10 minutes looking for snails. First we would measure out the diameter of the circular plot, and then we would each search one side. When we were both ready, Sofi would start the 10 minute timer, and the search was on! The timer made it feel like a competition, which definitely made it more fun, but it was really there to ensure that we’re consistent in our data collection. To keep our findings accurate, we need to make sure that every plot gets treated the same every time we go back to survey the site.

When travelling between each plot, we made sure to scan the surrounding area to see if we could find any snails of interest. Specifically, we were on the lookout for the Oregon Forestsnail and the Pacific Sideband.

Sofi measuring snail shell diameter

The survey plots aren’t always in a snail hot spot. In fact, we discovered our largest snail grouping of the day almost entirely by accident! During an unscheduled bio-break, I happened to find 20 Oregon Forestsnails just outside of our plot area all within a 7m radius of each other! This got both of us very excited. We marked the spot on our GPS unit so that we can come back later and search it again.

Throughout the day, we made note of the type and number of snails we found at each plot, both alive and dead, and we measured and marked the shells of our two snail species of interest. We  painted a number on each shell with a non-toxic nail varnish. (One might say that we hosted a pop-up sNAIL salon!)

We hope to recapture some of the snails we marked during our next survey so that we can learn more about the native snail population sizes on the Three Creeks property, and what kind of habitat types they prefer.

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We’re hoping that as we learn more about the Oregon Forestsnail we can make better predictions about where we might find other populations of this endangered snail in the future, and how we can help protect their habitat.

Stay tuned for an analysis of our surveys to date!


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You can be a snail detective, too!


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Windebank Creek Update 2016

Every year in November we look forward to having a volunteer event at our Windebank Creek property that corresponds with the seeing the salmon returning to spawn. Unfortunately this year we had to cancel our annual event due to yet another serious flood that deposited over a metre of silt over the lower half of the property.

But just like the salmon, who refuse to give up on this site, so do we!

We have just approved our management plan for this property and have an interested funding source lined up to help us implement it in 2017. Nothing is confirmed yet, but we will have news about our plans and events where the community can help in the spring – so make sure you check back then!

Windebank Creek Spring Work-Party: Saturday Feb 27th at 9am

Okay so it might not be spring quite yet…
but we want to get a head-start in our ongoing battle against the blackberry and build nest boxes for the birds, bees and bats to use this coming year!

A great group of BCIT students have been helping us with a restoration plan for our section of Windebank Creek. They are organizing a Windebank Creek Maintenance and Nest Box Building Event the morning of Saturday February 27th.
Come out and help us cut blackberry, we will be targeting the new emerging shoots, and hopefully tackling the upstream section. Plus you can help provide habitat and attract pollinators to the creek by constructing bird, bat and mason bee nesting boxes. Kids can help too!
Light snacks will be provided. This event is rain or shine so please dress appropriately for the weather and ensure you are wearing sturdy shoes or boots. We will have some supplies but please bring clippers and gloves if you have them.

This event will take place 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 at 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!

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!

Volunteers needed for a Clean-up at Windebank!

It’s that time of year again!

We are looking for volunteers to help us clean-up our Windebank property on

Saturday November 14th from 10am to 2pm.

Removing blackberry near Windebank Creek

The salmon are currently spawning in the creek so it’s the perfect time to clear out some blackberry and observe these amazing fish!  We have had some good success fighting against the blackberry over the past year but this persistent plant will just not quit.  We are looking for volunteers to help remove blackberry and prune some of the native plants.  We will have some gloves and extra pruners on hand but if you can bring your own that would be great.  Please dress appropriately for the day – who knows what the weather will bring!  The ground can be quite mucky this time of year so rubber boots are recommended. We will also be removing some garbage from the property and will have appropriate safety gear for that activity.

This fall clean-up event will take place 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 at the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector).

We will have a guest speaker at lunchtime to talk about what the fish are currently up to in the creek.

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!

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!

Volunteers needed for snail surveys!

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We are looking for some volunteers to help complete snail surveys at our Three Creeks site in Abbotsford next week. The snail surveys involve sifting through leaf litter and under ferns.  Volunteers must be capable of bending or kneeling on the ground for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and not be afraid of a little rain! 

We will identify all snail and slug species that we find and mark endangered Oregon forestsnails and Pacific sideband snails for our mark recapture study.  We will also collect information on the vegetation found in each survey plot.

I would like to schedule a survey for Wednesday October 15 between 8am and 2:30pm and Friday October 17 between 8am and 4pm.  I would appreciate it if volunteers could contribute 4 hours of their time to this project but other than that timing can be flexible. 

Location: 
Three Creeks (meet at the east end of Ledgeview Drive off of McKeeRoad in Abbotsford).
Timing: 
Wednesday October 15, 8 am – 2:30 pm
Friday October 17, 8 am – 4 pm

If you are interested in participating please send Kendra an email (projects@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com) or call the office at 604-625-0066.  If these times don’t work for you but you are interested in helping out send an e-mail anyways in case volunteers are needed for another time.