A showcase of natural biodiversity
Development of the two acre wetland park in Spallumcheen began in the spring of 2018 with the construction of the first wetland pond and riparian planting of willow whips and red osier dogwood. A second pond was excavated in late fall 2019 in preparation for the 2020 spring run off. The ponds, as well as the grasses, green willows and native plants, trees and shrubs planted in 2019 and 2020, have become established and are creating a historically devolved, natural environment. The park is a living showcase of a biodiverse wetland ecosystem, its living and non-living components, their roles and their interactions with each other. Creation of an ecologically rich riparian and wetland complex with no possibility of future development ensures sustainable protection of the constructed aquatic and terrestrial biophysical resources.
Signs feature the Secwepemc culturally important native plants, trees and shrubs growing in the park and their cultural uses. The text on the interpretive signs is drawn from the traditional knowledge of beloved Secwepemc Elder Dr. Mary Thomas. On September 30, 2020 the park was officially opened to the public with a dedication to Mary Thomas by her daughter, Bonnie Thomas and sister Ethel Thomas.
The park signage was originally developed for the Switzmalph Cultural Society in Salmon Arm which was founded by Mary. The signs have a scannable QR code that links to a web page with more of the traditional knowledge and ecological requirements of each tree and shrub. Additional signage will provide information on birds, amphibians and insects in the wetlands and historical facts relating to the area.
Our location in the Spallumcheen Valley is an area where the Shuswap Nation (Secwepemc) and Okanagan Nation (Syilx) Territories overlapped five thousand years ago. Park signage will feature insights into Secwepemc and Syilx cultures, traditions and historical land use and their belief that protection of the land and natural resources means the protection of the coming generations.
Youth are our wetland ambassadors who work and volunteer in the park, monitoring the wetland ponds, birds, animals, amphibians, insects and plants, learning hands about biodiversity conservation and maintaining a park journal.
The two acre park is open to the public with COVID-19 physical distancing rules in place.
Caution: Visitors to the park should be aware that the ground is uneven in places. Please proceed with caution and do not walk on the grassed edges of the ponds.
Location: 1978 Pleasant Valley Road, Spallumcheen BC, just 1 km south of the Armstrong city limit.
For more information about park programs and public access contact Barb Craven at 250-546-5021 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Park is managed by the BC Small Wetlands Association