Ceperley Meadow: A Necessary Mess

Less frequent mowing and increased beaver activity are encouraging the emergence of valuable wetland habitat in this low-lying meadow. 

Ceperley Meadow today: an emerging wetland (Photo: K.Stormont/SPES)

The resulting wetland offers animals that are dependent on freshwater –  ducks, herons, songbirds, raptors, beavers, and insects – a home where they can find food and shelter. These important ecosystems are in short supply throughout Stanley Park, so Vancouver Park Board is partnering with the beavers to allow this emerging wetland to develop.

Year-round residents like wood ducks depend on Ceperley Meadow for nesting, shelter and food. As this wetland matures, other freshwater-dependent bird species will move in. Watch for blue-listed (vulnerable) species like the green heron and the American bittern.

American bittern (Photo: Michael Schmidt)

Green heron (Photo: Michael Schmidt)

Like the West End neighbourhood near Stanley Park, this wetland is a community. A variety of wildlife species take advantage of its diverse housing types, food options, and rest spots. Wetland plants like common rush, willow, and hardhack  support this community. How many of these plants can you find here?

Hardhack (Photo: Michael Schmidt)

Common rush (Photo: Michael Schmidt)

Invasive plants, especially Himalayan blackberry, are the biggest threat to this new wetland as they spread into open spaces and outcompete native plants for available nutrients and light. By planting more wetland species and removing the invaders, SPES can help this unique habitat thrive.