The final phase of restoration work on Baikie Island is well underway and the island is slated for re-opening by the end of the month.
“The site has been cleared, with many truck loads of undesirable material removed and topsoil brought in, placed and contoured to replace it,” says Jim VanTine, Contract Administrator, for the project.
Lynn Wark, City of Campbell River Parks Project Supervisor, toured the site with VanTine recently and was impressed with the efforts to create habitat.
“Jim has been providing regular direction to Wacor (the earthworks contractor), and so far they have created a pond area and erected many wildlife trees around it that will support a variety of bird, reptile and amphibian species,” Wark says.
Baikie Island will continue to be closed until the earthworks portion of the work is complete, expected to be at the end of August. After that, the island will reopen for foot traffic, and visitors will be able to see the tree planting crew in action this fall when more than 5,000 native trees and shrubs will be put in the ground. There will also be an opportunity for the public to get involved in some of the planting. The creation of riparian forest zone habitat was an important element in the grant application for the BC Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. BC Hydro supported the application and contributed $50,000 towards the project. The project has also received financial backing from Tree Canada, the City, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Community Works Fund and a variety of other funders. The city began the final phase of restoration work at Baikie Island on July 13.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) transferred ownership of the property to the City of Campbell River in 2001.