The Peninsula Streams Society is starting a stewardship group to help maintain the mainstem of the Colquitz River.
Following the success of a similar group for Swan Creek, the non-profit environmental organization is gathering residents who are interested in keeping the river healthy. A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16 for locals to share their knowledge of the river, learn about volunteer opportunities and join the group.
“They’ll be a watchdog, to some degree,” said Ian Bruce, executive director of the society. “If they see something going on that’s not quite right, they’ll know what to do about it in terms of contacting the authorities.”
While there are several stewardship groups operating in the Colquitz Watershed, Bruce said this group will focus on caring for the river’s mainstem, located between Carey and Wilkinson roads. Responsibilities will include monitoring the water quality, stream restoration and garbage removal.
The area is almost completely within Saanich parks, which provides a good opportunity to collaborate with city staff.
Bruce said he expects 40 to 60 people will show up to the meeting, but said there’s no limit to how many people can join the group or how much or how little they want to contribute.
“People have different levels of participation,” he said. “Some may not want to go to any more meetings, but if there’s a volunteer event on the creek, they want to know. Others want to get more stuff in and be part of the group in organizing and planning, and they put more time in.”
Previously, the society organized the Friends of Swan Creek Watershed in response to a home heating fuel spill into the creek in November 2011.
Based on the work of that group, Bruce said Colquitz presents a similar opportunity to get residents involved to make a positive impact on the river.
“We just look forward to meeting the people who live around the mainstem of the river and hearing what they have to say about what they want to see happen with the river,” he said.
The inaugural meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Saanich Community Church, located at 4566 West Saanich Rd. Attendees are asked to RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Colquitz Watershed or to share information, visit colquitzcoalition.ca.