As we have said before, wetlands are one of the most critically endangered ecosystems in the Okanagan-Similkameen region; over 85% have been destroyed. Here at OSSS, we work a lot with wetlands up and down the valley. In fact, almost half of our stewards have some kind of wetland on their property.
So what exactly do we do with the wetlands we help steward?
|Last spring, we got an amazing volunteer turnout when we partnered with TD Bank and the City of Penticton for TD Tree Days. Over 550 plants were planted at Riverside Marsh in Penticton in less than 3 hours!|
|Almost four and a half TONNES of garbage were pulled out of an Osoyoos wetland in 2015. That's the weight of a fully-grown elephant! Native plants were planted along the sides of the pond to help stop bank erosion.|
|Last spring, we began creating a new wetland in Lumby. It may not look like much now, but in addition to the pond, this 2-acre reclaimed hayfield already has almost a thousand new native plants in the ground!|
|Over in Summerland, the Okanagan Crush Pad Winery will have 2 new wetland ponds created this year in one corner of their property. In the meantime, we have already improved the surrounding area by planting 1200 native plants|
So, what can you do to help local wetlands??
Volunteer with us
We couldn't even begin to do what we do without the tireless work of all of our volunteers. From pulling weeds to picking garbage to planting native plants, out volunteers do it all! Click here to sign up as a volunteer.
Stop the spread of invasive species
Many invasive species, like the American Bullfrog, the Red Eared Slider, and Yellow Flag-iris have devastating impacts on wetlands, whether it be eating everything in sight (bullfrog) or completely choking out open water (flag-iris). Don't plant non-native plants in your pond or near any body of water and never release a non-native animal into the wild.
Become a Steward
Not all wetlands are full of cattails: a spongy wet meadow and a small depression that has water only in the spring are both different kinds of wetland. Do you think you might have a wetland on your property and want to protect it? Contact us here.
Talk about it
Lots of people just don't realise how valuable and important wetlands are to the world. Wetlands provide us with flood control, groundwater recharge, and water filtration, all for free!