January 12, 2017
The Miami River Streamkeepers (MRSS) have enjoyed a successful and satisfying year since our last AGM held November 14th, 2015. Our Society continues to operate within the framework defined in 2012 when we registered our organization as a non-profit society and to achieve goals set at our AGM.
Stewardship of the Miami River and its Riparian Area remains the primary focus of the Society. Weekly “Walk and Weed” activity along the Miami River Greenway allows group members to monitor the progress of shrubs, trees, and aquatics we have planted. Invasive or noxious plants and any dumped materials are removed. Agassiz Elementary Secondary School leadership students participated in a Reed Canary Grass control project in May 2016. A commercial landowner contacted on stewardship practices acted upon our suggestions. Through grant monies MRSS purchased additional stewardship equipment. Several Chum salmon were observed spawning under the Harrison Hot Springs Road Bridge in early November 2016.
Water Quality Testing was done in July 2016 with our DFO (Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans) Community Advisor. He supplied new buffer solutions, electrolytes, membranes and “O” rings for our monitoring equipment. The Walnut avenue site had low oxygen levels.
Planting. No public plantings were done in 2016 as the riparian is adequately vegetated. However several donated native shrubs and trees were installed by MRSS to replace failed plants.
Public Education and Involvement is an important focus for our group. To that end MRSS, in collaboration with the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, hosted a “Healthy Environment Day” on Monday August 1st with educational & information displays for visitors & local residents to review. Exhibitors participating were MRSS, Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council, South Coast Conservation Program, Painted Turtle Recovery Program, Oregon Spotted Frog Program and WildSafeBC. Birch Grove Nursery displayed native plants that were donated for thank you gifts. Pearson Ecological led public nature walks of Greenway. MRSS updated and reprinted our brochure this year. The local paper published several articles about our work.
The series of 5-Interpretive Signs designed by our group installed in designated locations along the Miami River Greenway were cleaned. The signs enhance community and visitor awareness of the Miami River, the Riparian Area, and factors important in promoting a healthy bio-diverse environment.
MRSS maintains an active web site that offers information and notification of events to the public Articles from our group are published regularly in our local newspaper. These provide education and awareness of upcoming events to community residents. We keep in contact with our members through regular email updates.
A hallmark of our small but dedicated group is our collaboration with numerous agencies and partners. We participate in the Harrison Salmon Stronghold Council planning meetings. In November 2015 we participated in BC Nature Federation’s Fall Field Camp with a presentation and a Greenway walk with a local biologist. In appreciation an anonymous BC Nature Member donated us funds. We meet with the Earthwise Society to collaborate on riparian enhancement of the Miami River on their Golf Road farm. One of our directors presented suggestions to the Village of Harrison Hot Springs Council for improvement of the 200-block greenway path. MRSS donated three pairs of chest waders to the Harrison Salmon Stronghold.
We attend the Earth Day educational event at a local church and have our educational booth there. The Invasive Plants Council for Fraser Valley assists us with invasive plants and the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition offers advice on stewardship. The Village of Harrison Hot Springs awards us operational financing through “Grants to Groups” for which we are very appreciative.
We will be holding our AGM on January 20, 2017. We look forward to exploring ideas and establishing goals for 2017. We have attracted a new member to our group this year and will continue our efforts to interest others in participating.
President, Miami River Streamkeepers Society