The seeds have been planted for a wetland restoration project that could increase biodiversity and productivity at a nearby farm.
The Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) and Lohbrunner Farm in Langford are looking at options for a plan to restore a portion of the farm to a natural area, explained Scott Harris, a Lohbrunner Farm board member and lead on the restoration project.
“We’ve discussed doing some remedial work with HAT on an area called Duck Pond on the lower part of the property where water tends to sit,” Harris said.
“We’re exploring the possibility of a wetland project at this point.”
Wetland restoration specialist Robin Annschild has been conducting research and field testing with environmental technology students from Camosun College along Bilston Creek in what used to be a cedar swamp.
The area has become a seasonally flooded field of reed canary grass, which has low biodiversity and limited ecological function. That limits agricultural production because it is flooded until May, Harris noted.
Paige Erickson, stewardship co-ordinator for HAT, said they are in the process of exploring grant options to secure funding for the project.
“We’re doing the field testing this year, which will help determine the next steps,” she said. If funding is approved, the restoration work could begin next year.
“We think this project could be beneficial to the farmers and biodiversity in that area,” she added.