Bone up for a public info session on possible wetlands park at Jubilee

rachael roussin
By rachael roussin
September 16th, 2014

North Jubilee Park in Rossland is the site of a pre-existing stream and wetland which has been drained and managed as a park by the City of Rossland for over 65 years. The site is inherently wet, has organic wetland soils and is currently inhabited by a variety of wetland animal and plant species. The City will consider rehabilitating the site by constructing three small wetlands based on a feasibility study being conducted this summer and fall.

Public support and input is being sought for this project and a public information meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30, at the Rossland Miner’s Hall from 6:00pm – 8:00 pm with a presentation at 7:00pm.

 Last spring a two-day workshop on wetland conservation was hosted by the BC Wildlife Federation in Rossland with over twenty Kootenay residents participating. Presenting at the workshop was wetland restoration expert Tom Biebighauser who has rehabilitated hundreds of wetlands across North America including the Kootenays.

He believes that North Jubilee park is a natural site for wetland rehabilitation with a high water table and existing wetland plants and would lead the construction of the proposed wetland project. Leading the feasibility study are Rossland residents Eva Cameron and Rachael Roussin who have experience with wetland restoration and who will secure grant funding for the project if approved by council.

The proposed construction date is September 2015.

Wetland Facts and Community Concerns Watershed Protection and Stormwater Management

The Jubilee Park North wetlands will capture rainwater and surface runoff which serves an important function by reducing large volumes of runoff in the spring. These wetlands will allow for the inflow and infiltration of water and act as a natural filter for water before it flows downstream.

Mosquito Concerns

Mosquitos thrive in areas that have stagnant water with no predators. The proposed wetlands for N. Jubilee Park will have water throughout the season which will provide habitat for mosquito predators such as frogs and dragonflies. A functioning wetland should not have mosquito problems. More information can be found at The Acroloxus Wetlands Consultancy: www.acroloxus.com/mosquito.html

Public Space

The vision of the wetland rehabilitation project is to improve this park and make it more usable to the public. The proposed project will include three shallow wetland pools with public areas and pathways that will be mowed and maintained by the City of Rossland. The park will also serve as an outdoor classroom for students to learn about wetland function, habitat and ecosystems.

Habitat and Ecosystems

The park is currently inhabited by a variety of wetland species and birds including frogs and the Killdeer birds that nest in the long grass every spring. The wetland will provide a safe habitat for these animals while the drier areas will be designed as useful public space.

Ownership and management

The N. Jubilee Park wetlands will be a project of the City of Rossland and incorporated in the City Works management and maintenance schedules. This project will not impact the soccer fields or the community garden.

Public input

Public support from residents of Rossland is being sought for this project. Feedback can be sent to Stacey Lightbourne, City Planner at the City of Rossland: staceylightbourne@rossland.ca or 250 362 2329.

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