Town staff removed a number of native plants from Saywell Park after they were planted by volunteers as part of a riparian restoration project.

Town staff removed a number of native plants from Saywell Park after they were planted by volunteers as part of a riparian restoration project.

Saywell restoration project halted due to ‘miscommunication’

An ambitious project in June 2013 saw the restoration of the shoreline at Saywell Park.

An ambitious project in June 2013 saw the restoration of the shoreline at Saywell Park. Carried out as a joint project and led by the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society, the project saw a group of volunteers remove a number of Himalayan blackberry bushes, an invasive species, and replace them with over 1000 native plants, including dogwood and willow. Though the groups involved hoped that the reintroduction of these native plant species would restore the area to a healthy state, they saw some of their hard work come undone this past June.

Due to what Stewardship Society spokesperson Diana Gunderson referred to as “miscommunication,” a large number of native plants were removed from Saywell Park by Town of Lake Cowichan staff. According to Gunderson, a stand-in crew supervisor ordered the plants to be removed, unaware that they were part of a restoration project.

The project was announced to be completed in May 2014, with the planting in Saywell Park being carried out by a group of volunteers from the Stewardship Society and Lake Cowichan School. Along with the volunteer hours put into the project, a total amount of $25,000 was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Cowichan Watershed Board, the Haig-Brown Fly Fishing Association, Lake Cowichan School and the Town of Lake Cowichan itself.

Though it’s still unknown what action will be taken to correct the damage done to restoration project, Gunderson is taking a proactive approach.

“One of the things on my agenda is to meet up with the crew at Saywell Park to make a new plan [for the restoration project] and possibly replace some of the plants that were removed,” she said.

She also said that Mayor Ross Forrest was also upset about the removal of the plants when the Stewardship Society sat down with him recently, and that he agreed it was important to maintain what is left and replace what was removed.

Mayor Forrest was unavailable for comment.

Just Posted

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

Tim Wilkinson, who will attempt a double anvil triathlon on Vancouver Island on July 3, poses with his training partner, Shadow, who has been dragged up and down the Nanaimo Parkway many times. (Submitted)
Vancouver Island triathlete takes on ‘double anvil’ for charity

7.6km swim, 360km bike ride, and 84.4km run, all within 36 hours

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Most Read