While the hot, dry summer this year wasn’t great for many waterways, at least one group of volunteers found a way to make use of the weather to help them.
Members of the Nunn’s Creek Stewards, Greenways Land Trust, one retired Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) community advisor, and a few random passersby came together recently to build a bridge over Nunn’s Creek while they could.
“We’d built a similar bridge further down the creek four or five years ago, and we’d always wanted to get back and do this one. We actually had planned to do it last year, but we were rained out,” said Barry Peters, the retired DFO member, who helped coordinate the effort.
“Rain wasn’t a problem this year, obviously, until recently,” he laughed, “and we’d already gotten out in front of it.”
Over a period of three days, Peters said, the group of volunteers lowered the old bridge on the trail just off of McPhedran near 2nd Avenue, into the creek bed to use as a working platform, built the new span, and then removed the old structure from below.
“It wasn’t in very good shape,” Peters said of the old bridge, “and our worry was that people would either get hurt using it or start to create their own makeshift bridges on their own,” which could cause environmental problems and safety hazards down the line. The bridge, while intended for hikers and students coming and going from school on foot, was designed to take much more weight than necessary.
“We’d like for it to just be a footbridge,” Peters said, “but we have to deal with the reality of people on ATVs and horses wanting to use it, so we made it to be able to support that. Honestly, we’d rather have them using the bridge than crossing through the stream and damaging it.”
While the bridge itself is complete, they now need to repair the approaches to it – with the help of some Carihi forestry students.
The eastern approach to the creek, especially, tends to flood and get very messy during periods of high water.
“They’ll be building an elevated walkway to the bridge that will allow the floodwaters to run underneath and preserve the surrounding ecosystem from additional damage,” Peters said.
“We really need to find some younger people to take up these causes. The people involved have great ideas and expertise, but eventually they just simply won’t be physically able to carry out projects like this.”
Anyone interested in helping on future projects can contact Greenways at www.greenwaystrust.ca