Interpretive/Nature Trails

Riverhurst Wetland to be Brought Back to Life by 2023 – Westcentralonline.com

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Thanks to a grant from the Federal Government, the Riverhurst Communities in Bloom Committee is moving ahead with its Wetland Restoration Project.

Located just 3 km away from Lake Diefenbaker and the Riverhurst Ferry Crossing, the village’s wetland is one of the first parts of the town that passersby see. Low precipitation levels over the past few years have left the wetland as a bed of weeds. Committee Member Penny Gustafson says that the hope with the restoration project is to beautify the area and bring back more wetland species.

“This wetland is at the very entrance of the village and our group just decided that we needed to do something about it and make it a really beautiful greenspace,” explains Gustafson.

The committee planted over 250 trees on the 9 hectares of land surrounding the wetland in 2018 and now has the funds to complete the rest of the work. The wetland will have to be dug deeper to ensure that a constant water level can be maintained, as well as a drainage system to prevent flooding in nearby homes. They also hope to add a walking trail all around the wetland with interpretive signs and nesting platforms as a way of adding an education element to the project.

“We’re hoping to use this as a demonstration site for other landowners and municipalities so they can know how to protect their own wetlands. For school-aged kids, they’ll be able to come to learn about all the different birds and plants that live in a wetland.”

thumbnail_IMG_20191016_1048301.jpgMost of the water from the wetland has drained away, leaving a bed of weeds. (Photo courtesy of Penny Gustafson).

A biological survey is underway to determine just what kind of flora and fauna inhabit the area, but Gustafson says there’s always plenty of ducks, geese, shorebirds, blackbirds, and even the occasional great blue heron. She hopes the project will help people understand the importance of protecting these native ecosystems.

“Wetlands are sadly being destroyed all across the province and the country. So it’s a goal of ours to show the need to maintain these lands.”

The rejuvenation will also likely come with the added benefit of increasing tourism to the area.

“We’re right on the edge of Lake Diefenbaker and just 7 to8 km from Palliser Regional Park. This will just beautify the area so much and its a fairly large wetland so maybe we’ll even be able to bring in some tours.”

The project is expected to wrap up in March of 2023 and Gustafson says she and her team have a lot of work ahead of them.

thumbnail_Screenshot_2021-01-15_at_7.22.08_PM.pngThe outline of the project as viewed from above. (Photo courtesy of Penny Gustafson).

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