Lake Cowichan First Nation, Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society and Lake Cowichan School came together as one last Wednesday to revamp a segment of native land.
As part of Earth Day, CLRSS and LCS were at LCFN’s lakefront site to prune blackberries amongst other things in what is just a small part of a larger rehabilitation.
“Lake Cowichan First Nation’ lakefront site (on North Shore Road) has huge historical importance,” said CLRSS president Gerald Thom.
“The River Stewardship Society and the high school have teamed up with Lake Cowichan First Nation to restore and rehabilitate this land. They (LCFN) are the lead for this project and we are helping them.”
All of the action is part of the bigger three-year Cowichan Shoreline Stewardship Project which Thom says is all about “rehabilitating private lakefront property.”
“The idea is to restore the site ecologically and get rid of all the garbage and the invasive species, and replace it with native species,” he said. “We have to keep the lake clean and clear, protect our water equality, eliminate erosion and provide a fish habitat as well.”
Harvey Livingstone from LCFN says that eliminating Himalayan blackberries in particular will be key to revitalization.
“We have to get rid of them first and we do that by just keeping on cutting and ticking them back,” he said.
A bus full of LCS students arrived just after 1:30 p.m. and jumped immediately into the work, aided by Thom’s array of pruning, seeding and digging equipment.
LCFN Chief Cyril Livingstone was heartened to see so many locals coming together as one.
“Earth Day is important,” he said. “No matter where we are, we have got to keep the earth clean. We take pride in that at Lake Cowichan First Nation. I really want to thank everyone that has taken the time to come out here today. It gives me great pride.”