Take a walk around the boardwalk at the Richmond Nature Park and have a look at our latest project – restoration of the bog around the pond. This project is a joint venture of the Richmond Nature Park Society, the City of Richmond Parks Department, Walmart-EVERGREEN and a host of volunteers.
Cultivated blueberries are a particularly problematic plant in the Nature Park. Adapted, as they are for growth in bogs in eastern North America, they thrive in western bogs, too. Cultivated blueberries have been selected for vigorous growth so given the ideal conditions of our bog they quickly outgrow native plants, shading them into oblivion. There are other invasive plants in the bog but blueberries are the worst of the lot.
The impact of the blueberries has been especially apparent around our pond where they’ve grown into an impenetrable thicket. But we’re fighting back! Throughout the summer volunteers were busy cutting and removing blueberries. Many of our volunteers were from the Richmond area but 5 of them were student volunteers from France and Japan.
Last weekend, a group of engineering students from UBC deconstructed and removed the chain link fence that encircled one half of the pond. The removal of this fence will permit easier access to the pond and allow us to more effectively control the blueberries in the future.
This weekend a group of Richmond cadets will build a new split rail fence. The fence will be an attractive reminder for visitors to stay away from the edge of the pond. The next step in this project, a week from now, will be replanting the project zone with native bog species. Volunteers from Deloitte will assist with this task.
This project was made possible through funds from Walmart-Evergreen. Evergreen has been a generous supporter of past Nature Park projects. A grant in 2007 was a key element in the construction of a boardwalk through an impassably wet area in the Richmond Nature Study Centre.
When this project is over we will have restored half of the area surrounding the pond. We hope to do the other half next year. Please contact us if you would like to be involved with this project.
Submitted by Kris Bauder
Nature Park Coordinator