View from the unfinished viewing tower deck looking east to Somenos Creek. (David Coulson photo)

View from the unfinished viewing tower deck looking east to Somenos Creek. (David Coulson photo)

Somenos Marsh viewing tower near completion

October a busy month for the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society

There’s not much left to build and Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society president Paul Fletcher has confirmed the grand opening for the marsh’s newest feature — a viewing tower — will be on Saturday, Oct. 5.

October is a big month for the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. The group’s 10th annual WildWings Nature & Fine Arts festival begins Oct. 6 with ‘Celebrate Somenos’ at the Open Air Classroom though the official launch and WildWings Art show opening reception is on Oct. 9 at Just Jake’s in Duncan.

“This year’s WildWings has several indigenous events and is our first year in partnership with Cowichan Tribes,” Fletcher said. “There are 24 events in three weeks including our It Ain’t Easy Being Green Gala on Oct 26.”

The keynote speaker for that event is Order of Canada recipient Patrick Morrow, the second Canadian up Mount Everest and the first person to climb the Seven Summits — the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.

In other SMWS news, Fletcher said 600 boardwalk planks have been re-engraved and together with 600 spacer plates, that makes for 1,200 new planks re-installed on boardwalk in total.

“The planks had a manufacturers defect and were replaced by an insurance claim against the decking supplier,” Fletcher said.

Groups are also starting to mobilize to take on the invasive parrots feather in Somenos Creek thanks to co-funding with the Municipality of North Cowichan. Citizen Science volunteer water quality monitoring is wrapping up it’s fifth year.

“We are in our second year of our Clean Water Action Project,” Fletcher added. “Partnering with the Land Trust we are connecting with residents around Somenos and Quamichan Lakes. We explore their riparian zones and suggest ways of improving the habitat.”

And finally, “with our new program manager, Elodie Rodger, we are beginning our Greenways Project, a long-term project to provide protected corridors along waterways from the mountain tops to the ocean.”

Visit somenosmarsh.com to learn more.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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