Banks donate to Adopt-a-Stream

RBC, Vancity, pitch to help river society train streamkeepers

Volunteers keep an eye on stream quality for Alouette River Management Society.

Volunteers keep an eye on stream quality for Alouette River Management Society.

Some recent or imminent infusions of cash are going to make it easier to keep streams healthy and leverage the power of volunteers.

Royal Bank of Canada chipped in $5,000 while another $10,000 is expected soon from Vancity Credit Union.

That money will be used to create communications materials, buttons, t-shirts to create a brand image and help promote the Adopt-a-Stream program.

That’s one of the projects run by the Alouette River Management Society and which tries to inspire local residents to care for a section of their stream.

“The idea for people in Maple Ridge who are living along creeks and streams to take ownership of their streams in their area,” said Greta Borick-Cunningham, acting executive-director.

One of the projects will be the ongoing removal of invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed or blackberry bushes from streamside areas and replacing them with native shrubs and trees.

One project next spring will be to work with students at Meadowridge School on 240th Street to do some bush clearing in order to create access to nearby Latimer Creek.

A similar project is planned later for Alexander Robinson elementary, both as a means of giving kids access to their local creeks.

The river management society also wants to encourage people who live near streams to contact them and so they can receive training in how to monitor and  improve their areas for both wildlife and water.

Borick-Cunningham says some groups have already formed to adopt portions of Morse Creek, Golden Pond, 232nd Channel and at creek near 122nd Avenue.

By training people in the basics of stream keeping, those people then can train their neighbours and then form neighbourhood groups.

Residents are also working on improving the streamside of McKenney Creek, which runs past the Ridge Meadows Hospital.

“There’s only so much [ARMS] we can physically do.”