The final phase of the Baikie Island restoration project is complete and the walking trails are open to the public.
Lynn Wark, the city’s parks project supervisor, said the last phase, the riparian forest re-formation, was complete near the end of November.
“Basically we re-created the riparian forest that was already existing on the east side of the main trail,” Wark said. “We tried to mimic it.”
Jim VanTine, contract administrator for the Baikie Island project, led councillors Claire Moglove, Ron Kerr and Mary Storry as well as fire chief Dean Spry, around the island Friday afternoon.
VanTine directed Wacor, the earthworks contractor, in creating a pond area and erecting wildlife trees around it to support birds and reptiles.
The creation of the riparian forest zone habitat included planting more than 5,000 native trees and shrubs through the fall.
The final phase of restoration also included the removal of industrial debris and degraded soils and clearing and reshaping of the site, as well as the addition of new soil and planting of native vegetation.
The last phase focused on the centre part of the island.
Wark said that although that phase is complete, the work is not.
“Flower maintenance will be ongoing for several years,” Wark said.
The Baikie Island Nature Reserve is located across from Tyee Spit, in the Campbell River Estuary.
The final phase of restoration work began on July 13, 2011 but the city has been working on the whole project since 2003. Funding for the project came from the federal government’s Community Works Fund and the BC Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.
Baikie Island was purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in 2000 and one year later, ownership of the land was transferred to the City of Campbell River under a conservation covenant, to ensure its protection. The land is managed as the Baikie Island Nature Reserve and a monitoring report and a management plan were prepared in 2002.