From Muck to Marsh with HSBC

Last year a total of 21 HSBC volunteers helped restore the riparian (shoreline) habitat of Ceperley Creek by removing invasive species such as Himalayan blackberries and yellow flag iris. A short time after the initial removal of the blackberry thickets, various wildlife species were observed in the area including song birds, foraging waterfowl, beavers, and skunks.

HSBC staff work to remove invasive blackberry in Ceperley Meadow, Stanley Park (Photo: Maria Egerton/SPES)

This May, phase 2 of the Ceperley Creek project will once again be taken on by the HSBC volunteers. The goal now is to restore Ceperley Meadow to its former status as a wetland. Ceperley Meadow is located just east of Second Beach, were Lost Lagoon turns into Ceperley Creek. Many species of birds use this area for feeding, breeding and resting, and we are hoping to provide a more stable riparian habitat for them. It’s an area that is often flooded from Lost Lagoon and is at a lower elevation than the high tide at Second Beach (historically, high tides connected the water of Lost Lagoon to English Bay making Stanley Park an island at high tide). The HSBC volunteers will be restoring the area by removing the remaining invasive plants that grew back since the year before, and by planting plugs of native wetland plants to stabilize the creek banks and provide shelters for animals.

Eroded banks of Ceperley Creek will get a habitat makeover this June. (Photo: Paul Higginson/SPES)

The many freshwater conservation and restoration projects undertaken in Stanley Park during the last decade were possible thanks to the generosity of HSBC under the “HSBC Freshwater Initiatives in Stanley Park” project. Not only have they have been financing the freshwater projects, but they have also put boots on the ground and participated in the freshwater restoration volunteer events.

Above is a picture of how Ceperley Meadow currently looks. It should look happier when you visit it next time in June!

By Ariane Comeau, Conservation Technician