President of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society

Cash influx boosts Mount Douglas creek project

The Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society have a little help in their ongoing Douglas Creek enhancement project t

The Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society have a little help in their ongoing Douglas Creek enhancement project thanks to two recent grants.

The project is part of a five-year salmon habitat plan now in its third year and Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, said the two most recent grants –  from the Pacific Salmon Foundation for $10,000 and the Department of Fisheries and Ocean for $1,300 – will help immensely.

“The grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation is especially important because it signals a strong endorsement from experts on this type of work that we’re doing things correctly,” said Wick.

Douglas Creek runs through the east side of the park and acts as the catchment for much of Gordon Head’s storm water.

“Historically the whole area surrounding Mount Doug Park was forest or farm land so there wasn’t the same amount of storm water and runoff that there is now,” explained Wick. “Now that it’s is so urbanized, during heavy rains the creek has storm surges that can destroy a lot of natural habitat along the bed. Through the project we’ve been able to do things like put in large rocks along the bed to protect the sides of the creek from erosion.”

The Society and the District of Saanich are preparing to begin work on the pond behind the Douglas Creek Weir, he added.

“We plan to enlarge the pond behind the weir to allow for more silt to settle before it travels through the rest of the creek. This summer and fall we’ll be doing the clearing and prep work as well as surveying the area and getting it ready for work next year,” said Wick.

The Society and the municipality also have plans to work on the upper section of the stream to enhance the salmon habitat.

“We’ll be putting in features like spawning beds to encourage more salmon to return to the area,” he said, adding the creek has seen salmon returns for the past dozen or so years. “They don’t come in huge numbers but it is definitely encouraging to see them returning each year.”

The District of Saanich is charged with executing the bulk of the enhancement projects. Society members will also help. For more information visit mountdouglaspark.ca.