Sun, 23 Jun 2019

24 Community Conservation Projects Receive PCAF Funding

This Cassin's Vireo was banded by volunteers as part of the Bird Migration and Community Education Project, funded through PCAF (photo by Jannaca Chick).

HCTF’s Public Conservation Assistance Fund (PCAF) will be providing grants to 23 different organizations working to complete volunteer-based conservation projects in BC. The Foundation approved over $140,000 in PCAF grants this year for projects ranging from removal of invasive plants to citizen science projects collecting information on the health of bighorn sheep herds. A full list of this year’s grant recipients is below. We look forward to providing updates on these projects as they progress.

You can find out more about HCTF’s PCAF program here.


Arden Creek Riparian Restoration Project

Grant recipient: Lake Trail Middle School

The goal of this project is to restore sections of Arden Creek to its natural state. The project has two major objectives: 1) Action- repopulate the stream banks with native plant species and redirect foot traffic away from the stream banks 2) Education- teach the youth and public about the importance of riparian habitat and share traditional ecological knowledge.

Bats of Burrvilla At Risk

Grant recipient: South Coast Bat Conservation Society

Citizen scientists will initiate a long-term passive monitoring program a significant bat maternity roost with the goal of elevating the profile of bat conservation in southwest BC and detecting population trends associated with a devastating wildlife disease.

Community-based Monitoring to Guide Wildlife Conservation on the Sunshine Coast

Grant recipient: Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project

With assistance from the community, this project aims to monitor local wildlife in order to identify priority sites, guide stewardship activities, and evaluate the success of mitigation measures. This project aims to accomplish dual goals of increasing data about local species and habitats to guide conservation, and increasing community participation in wildlife stewardship activities. Volunteers will participate in surveys for a variety of species including turtles, bats, swallows, amphibians, snakes, ducks and owls.

Connected Waters: Fieldwork and Mapping Project

Grant recipient: Watershed Watch Salmon Society

The purpose of this project is to develop a list of priorities for upgrades based on the potential quality and quantity of fish habitat upstream from flood control structures and based on the current function and need for the flood control structures with consideration of required/planned upgrades. All data will be stored on our publicly accessible Connected Waters Atlas hosted by our partners at the Community Mapping Network.

Fishing Forever

Grant recipient: BC Wildlife Federation

This year there are 21 events happening in 12 communities around the Province, including: Abbotsford, Surrey, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Nelson, Vanderhoof, Lumby, Vernon, Peachland, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Parksville, Bulkley, and Osoyoos. Each event takes place on a unique day in the respective community, from May through August.

Golden Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Project-Phase 1

Grant recipient: Wildsight Golden

This project involves public engagement, habitat health, use and restoration assessment plus a sheep health analyses in an attempt to determine the limiting factors on the blue listed Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd in Kicking Horse Canyon. Fecal analysis will be used to determine pregnancy, stress hormone levels, parasite loads, inbreeding and diet. Sighting data will inform about highway mortality and high wildlife use areas along our highways.

Grizzly Bear DNA Monitoring 2019

Grant recipient: St’át’imc Government Services – Land and Resources Department

This project will continue research on an isolated and Critically Endangered grizzly bear population which has been monitored using DNA hair snag sampling since 2005. Data generated from the project will allow a better estimate of the apparent recruitment and mortality of the Stein grizzly bears and thus the overall trend of this population.The project will engage various St’át’imc community volunteers/members to assist in the deployment of hair snag and remote camera stations and collection of samples.

Habitat Restoration Program

Grant recipient: Habitat Acquisition Trust

Habitat Acquisition Trust works from spring to fall each year to restore natural habitat for native wildlife through its Habitat Restoration Program. Each year we rely on the help of a team of volunteers to remove invasive plants including Scotch broom, Laurel-leaved daphne, among others, and plant native grasses, shrubs, seeds and bulbs to improve habitat for native pollinators, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals on our protected covenant lands.

Improving water quality & wetland habitat at Trout Lake in Vancouver BC

Grant recipient: Wildcoast Ecological Society

This project’s aim is to combine the ecological restoration and water quality improvement measures of a highly utilized urban ecosystem, with community-wide environmental education and volunteer opportunities in and around Trout Lake in John Hendry Park, Vancouver, BC.

Little Qualicum River estuary Mill Pond

Grant recipient: BC Conservation Foundation

This proposal compliments a Little Qualicum River estuary restoration project under development since 2016, which is aimed at restoring an area known as Mill Pond. This project will install herbivore exclosures and an irritation system that will be used by volunteers from Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers to support native plant reestablishment.

MacKay Creek Spirit Trail Habitat Rejuvenation

Grant recipient: Wildcoast Ecological Society

This project aims to restore the riparian habitat along the Mackay Creek Spirit Trail by collecting garbage and debris, removing any newly growing invasive plants,planting site-specific vegetation, and installing habitat structures for birds, bats and local pollinators to increase habitat availability at this site. This project will also educate community members about protecting existing habitat to ensure the continued health of this important ecosystem

Metchosin Parks Holly Eradication

Grant recipient: Metchosin Invasive Species Cooperative (MISC)

Invasive species in the Metchosin area are becoming a significant concern in our parks and boulevards. The Metchosin Parks and Trails Committee aims to utilize volunteer labour to eradicate holly from all Metchosin parks using mechanical means.

Nature Stewards Pemberton – Enhancing and Restoring Biodiversity with Landowners and Partners in the Pemberton Valley

Grant recipient: Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA)

Wildlife habitat in the Pemberton Valley has been devasted by a dyking and drainage program which started in 1947. Lowering of the water table for agricultural purposes resulted in huge losses of wetlands.This project aims to work with supportive landowners in the Pemberton valley to complete an environmental assessment and habitat restoration and enhancement activities, with the goal of establishing stable healthy native habitat over time.

Restoring Centennial Park pond Duncan BC

Grant recipient: Jubilee Community Garden Society

The primary aim of this project is to make the area around the pond in Centennial Park a more pleasant area for the community to enjoy and help native species to reestablish themselves. The project plans to restore the pond to its natural state by removing invasive species on banks and replacing with native plants.

Restoring Plant Diversity to Maplewood Flats Bird Conservation Area Wetlands

Grant recipient: Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia

The goals of this project are to restore quality wetland habitat and build community engagement in ecological stewardship activities. This will be accomplished by addressing three issues for restoration in their wetlands: 1) invasive species, 2) loss of indigenous plant diversity, and 3) contamination of a wetland with high copper.

Restoring the Carex lyngbyei sedge marsh platform to the Little Qualicum River Estuary

Grant recipient: Guardians of Mid-Island Estuaries

This project will create ten new exclosures in the Little Qualicum River to protect existing Carex lyngbyei vegetation and newly transplanted areas from goose herbivory pressure. Protecting and restoring these Carex lyngbyei-dominated channel edge areas is key to the overall restoration of the marshes and their critical role in the salmon life cycle and for many other wildlife species.

Shuswap Yellow Flag Iris Treatment (White Lake and Little White Lake)

Grant recipient: Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

The aim of the project is to fully treat and eradicate known yellow flag iris infestations at White Lake and Little White Lake and other water bodies, using benthic barriers.Community weed pulls to contain the species through dead-heading will also be completed at 6 sites (White Lake, Little White Lake, Gardom Lake, SABNES trail, McGuire Lake and Turner Creek).

South Brooks Peninsula Beach Clean up

Grant recipient: BC Marine Trails Network Association

The project will be a cleanup of shoreline and uplands area of several beaches and upland areas in the South Brooks area. It is located on the south side of the Brooks Peninsula. The purpose of this project is to remove a large amount of plastics and debris.

South Coast Species at Risk Conservation

Grant recipient: Coastal Partners in Conservation Society

Federally endangered and provincially red-listed, the Western Painted Turtle (Pacific Coast population) face many threats including wetland loss and degradation, nesting habitat destruction, predators, poaching, invasive species, human disturbance, and road mortality. While focusing on this charismatic species and incorporating species with already known overlapping occurrences at some sites including; the Western Screech-owl, Little Brown Myotis and Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, we will conduct threat mitigation, monitoring and outreach throughout the South Coast of BC.

Spallumcheen Wetland Restoration

Grant recipient: New Beginnings Benevolent Society

Conservation efforts planned for this year are focusing on raising awareness of the important role small wetlands play in climate change adaptation. This project will work with North Okanagan/Shuswap school district youth counselors to engage indigenous and non-indigenous youth as wetland ambassadors. Wetland ambassadors will have the opportunity for hands on learning by participating in riparian planting and monitoring activities.

Stewardship Initiatives for Invasive Plant Management on Public and Crown Lands of the RDEK

Grant recipient: East Kootenay Invasive Species Council

This project involves a series of volunteer-powered weed pulling events throughout the Regional District of the East Kootenay (RDEK). The East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) will plan and facilitate 9 large weed pulls in the RDEK (one in each major town: Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberley, Invermere, Sparwood, Canal Flats, Radium, Elkford, and Jaffray) during the summer of 2019, and two smaller weed pulls in the communities of Bull River and Elko. These events will target areas where native habitat is being negatively impacted by the presence of invasives plant species, and where mechanical treatments are an effective means of controlling the plant infestation.

Summerland Bat Friendly Community

Grant recipient: Summerland Environmental Science Group (SESG)

This project has an overarching goal of certifying the District of Summerland as a “Bat-Friendly community”, as a means of taking local action on many aspects of bat conservation. Steps towards becoming a bat-friendly community that will be addressed as part of this project include: mapping suitable habitat and conducting bat counts; educating and engaging citizens; and incorporating protection of bat habitat into municipal planning processes. The end result is a community where bat habitat is valued and protected, where residents are aware of bats and the threats they face locally and nationally, and residents are engaged in educational and stewardship activities to protect bats and bat habitat.

The Kootenay Lake Kokanee Salmon Spawning Habitat Research and Restoration Project

Grant recipient: Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society

This project will focus on improving Kokanee spawning habitat on Kootenay Lake’s West Arm. This salmon species is genetically distinct to our area and has been facing many challenges related to low water levels on Kootenay Lake. This project seeks to provide the ideal substrate for Shore Spawners at a lower elevation than the low water mark. This will include a method of adding a layer of clean gravel over top of existing substrate which will provide Kokanee with material that can be readily made into redds and deposit eggs within. The other component of this project is increased community awareness of Shore Spawners. By attending community events and working with youth in a classroom setting we hope to create awareness and foster community interest in protecting Shore Spawning Kokanee.

Weeds Out of Our Wetlands

Grant recipient: Elk River Watershed Alliance

This project aims to reduce the presence of invasive plant species and aggressive reed canary grass within the Sparwood Beaver/Jewel wetland and replace these plants with native vegetation that will provide habitat to numerous wetland species and increase browsing value for ungulates. In addition, this project will improve education surrounding wetland health and invasive plant species identification through community stewardship action.