A showcase of natural biodiversity
The wetland park in Spallumcheen evolved from a two-acre field that flooded in the spring. Construction of wetland ponds in 2018 helped to mitigate flooding and riparian planting of grasses, green willows and native trees and shrubs over the past five years have created a historically devolved, natural environment that is now a public park. School students and members of the community that visit the park discover a 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 throughout the park describe the Secwepemc culturally important native plants, trees and shrubs growing in the park and their traditional 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 additional information and ecological requirements of each tree and shrub.
Our location in the Spallumcheen Valley is an area where the Shuswap Nation (Secwepemc) and Okanagan Nation (Syilx) Territories overlapped five thousand years ago. Future 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.
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