The Elk River Alliance is calling the creation of a wetland near Hosmer a groundbreaking project.
Executive Director Lee-Anne Walker is speaking after partnering with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and local contractors to turn nearly five hectares of an old gravel pit into a natural habitat.
Walker says the transformation of the land, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy, was phenomenal considering the site looked like a parking lot a month ago.
Suggesting this could be the catalyst for a different approach to former industrial lands in the future, Walker believes we need to challenge ourselves to look at areas that have been affected by industry or development through a different lens, so we can return them to a natural state.
That’s not a common practice according to Walker.
She says the Hosmer project was sort of a pilot initiative that depended greatly on partnership by conservation and community groups alongside industry.
Walker proposes this could be a model other communities in the Columbia Basin, across Canada or even North America.
She claims the Elk Valley has lost a significant amount of wetlands in recent years due to development and this would be a great practice for the region to implement.
The five hectare (picture five football fields) project was ambitious, as Walker explains usually they’re are dealing with dimensions closer to 20 x 40 metres.
She suggests this project could be one of a kind in North America.
– Elk River Alliance Executive Director Lee-Anne Walker
(Photos courtesy of Richard Klafki//Twitter)