Report to the Community
A Pilot Project in Lake Country
The Lake Country Pilot Project of the Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance
provides a blueprint for conducting similar research projects in the other regions of
the Okanagan basin watershed. When complete, it will ensure that decision-makers
involved in economic and social development understand the framework for
regenerative habitat, and that the general public appreciate the inter-connectiveness
of the watershed in their lives.
By bringing regenerative practices into considerations about the present
and future of the Okanagan Basin watershed, it is imperative that we understand
the critical nature of wetlands and natural habitat to the environment. This project
will present a framework for understanding and ensuring that awareness. To undertake a botanical inventory of the wetlands areas of
Lake Country and contiguous areas.
To identify native and invasive plant species that contribute to and/or inhibit
the natural waterflow environment. In the case of their contributory factors,
determine how they can be maximized in their regenerative function. In the case of their
inhibition factors, determine how they can be effectively removed and/or minimized.
To determine a set of maintenance factors that ensure a regenerative
watershed behavior going forward.
To undertake a trial project to determent those plants that have the
most effective regenerative potential in the environment.
To undertake a culling process to remove those plant species that inhibit
waterflow and negate and/or limit regenerative processes.
To produce information and learning materials, and conduct a series of
public presentations that reveal the
findings and/or demonstrate the value of the project.
To engage members of the public in the process of discovery and
mediation, through volunteer activity and attendence at events.
PROJECT DELIVERABLES AND MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
To understand and "know" the Lake Country watershed, for both proponents
and volunteers, in a substantive and proactive manner.
To contribute to the understanding of present and future watershed issues,
and contributory factors, in a meaningful and proactive way, to all the stakeholders
in the District.
To contribute to the general public awareness of watershed issues.
To provide a roadmap to the application of regenerative principles to the future
of watershed maintenance, locally, regionally and globally.
To provide materials that can be used by secondary and post-secondary faculty
to engage their students.
To provide materials that can be used by municipal leaders to promote the
benefits of regenerative practices to their stakeholders.
To determine the potential for regenerative non-timber forest product
harvesting, processing and marketing in the area covered.
A volunteer supervisory committee has been formed, representing the
Alliance partners, to provide governance and monitor the project.
A consultant team has been recruited to establish research and documentation guidelines, and supervise the chief investigator. Members of this team have expertise in aboriginal culture, wetlands ecology, biology research, environmental inventory analysis, permaculture, project documentation, and public awareness campaigns.
A chief investigator to spend the whole period of the project: Mapping the watershed; Conducting a habitat audit, and making recommendations to the committee on remediation activities; Conducting habitat restoration on a priority basis; Working with, and supervising, the activities of communtty volunteers and College and University faculty/students; Preparing regular reports on field activities.
The project is being conducted in six stages over ten months, with some overlap between them:
Stage 1: Recruit and schedule principals, collaborators, interns and volunteers.
Tasks and timeline established. Preliminary investigation.
Stage 2: Habitat Investigation and mapping.
Stage 3: Gathering information and producing a preliminary report for review
by committee and team, and other stakeholder to determine tasks and timeline
for next steps.
Stage 4: Based on results of habitat research, conduct remediation activities.
Stage 5: Publish a comprehensive report on the project, distribute press
release, provide public website with project information.
Stage 6: Public awareness campaign: local and regional public presentations,
school outreach, policy presentations.
Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance
is a group of progressive citizens, groups, companies, institutions, organizations and communities who want to put nature back into the centre of Okanagan life.
The Alliance was formed to apply the principals of
ecology to the wetlands of the
Okanagan Basin, which are the source and heart of the
future of human habitation and economy of this
area, and which are in continuous need of study, understanding and regeneration.
Robert MacDonald, Director
1473 Ethel Street
Kelowna BC V1Y 2X9
Email: click here
The Partners in the Wetlands Alliance are
Okanagan Basin Water Board
District of Lake Country: James Baker, Mayor
Okanagan Greens: Angela Reid, President
Okanagan Institute: Robert MacDonald, Director
Okanagan College: Douglas MacLeod, Associate Dean, Science and Technology
Community Futures of the Central Okanagan: Larry Widmer, Director
Summerhill Organics and Wildcraft: Gabe
Okanagan Nation: Chad Eneas, En'owkin Centre
Okanagan Network for the Environment: Deb Thorneycroft, Coordinator
Aspire Media Works: Geoff Millar, President
The Alliance welcomes participation from members of the public, as well as from
companies, organizations and institutions of all kinds.