A before and after shot along Riverside Marsh that shows the difference natural vegetation can have on a wetland’s health. The City of Penticton and OSS are seeking volunteers to help with the planting of 300 native trees, shrubs and flowers along the marsh on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. (Photo Submitted)

Volunteers needed for wetlands preservation work in Penticton

Join the City of Penticton and OSS for planting from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 21

The City of Penticton and the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship are continuing their commitment to environmental preservation and are looking for the public’s help.

Volunteers are needed on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon to help with the planting of 300 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the Riverside Marsh. According to a release, the marsh is an oxbow, a remnant of the old course of the Okanagan River prior to its channelization in the 1950s.

The release explains that the marsh collects storm water runoff and gives water a chance to slow before reaching the river via the channel, filtering sediments and silt while using excess nutrients and trapping pollution.

READ MORE: Confusion over land ownership of property along Okanagan River Channel

“Wetlands have historically been undervalued, seen as impediments to building or farming. In the Okanagan, over 85 per cent of natural wetlands have been lost,” it states in the news release. “Wetlands are just starting to receive the recognition they deserve for their role in flood and drought mitigation, water filtration and providing habitat for wildlife. In our dry climate, wetlands act as magnets for wildlife. A healthy wetland can provide water, shelter and food for many of our wildlife species, including some very rare and endangered animals.”

The upcoming planting will build on the previous plantings completed in 2016 and 2017, which proved to be very successful in certain areas, with trees and shrubs becoming well-established. The flooding that occurred in 2017 and 2018 did have negative side effects on some of the plants and vegetation, however, and the news release states OSS is “hoping to enhance the planting in those areas with the help of volunteers this fall.”

For more information about the planting, or to volunteer, contact Lia McKinnon at 250-809-4195 or at lia@osstewardship.ca.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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