Town of Creston restores reservoir and opens new community wetland – Keremeos Review

With the restoration of an old reservoir now complete, the town of Creston opened the new wetlands.

On October 18, city staff and members of the public attended the grand opening of the Dwight and Rosamund Moore Community Wetland, located at 230 24 Ave. North.

After the completion of the Arrow Creek water system in 2018, all old open reservoirs that once supplied water to the town of Creston were decommissioned in favor of modern closed-system reservoirs.

The Crawford Hill site, consisting of 4.3 hectares (10 acres), remained mostly unused and fell into disrepair. In 2020, the city council determined that the reservoir site should be redeveloped into a natural wetland ecosystem and public green space to create value for the community.

The Reservoir in 2020. (Town of Creston)

Environmental restoration began in early 2021, with Creston Community Forest (CCF) being one of the main contributors to the project. Funding was supported by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Central Kootenay Regional District.

“We envision this property as being available for schools to study biology and environmental concerns,” said Councilor and CCF representative Jim Elford. “Besides the educational component, we see this as an outdoor natural site with great views right in the heart of our community.”

The area has been transformed from a relatively featureless grassy depression into a diverse wetland habitat with three shallow ponds. Surrounding the new ponds are a variety of wood and rock features, including two hibernacula (underground shelter for cold-blooded animals, such as snakes, to hibernate below the frost line).

The reservoir site in 2021, after restoration.  Facing southeast.  (Town of Creston)

The reservoir site in 2021, after restoration. Facing southeast. (Town of Creston)

The wetlands were named after longtime Creston Valley residents Dwight and Rosamond Moore, who were recognized for their significant contributions to local wetlands and wildlife.

In 1967, Dwight was recruited to develop and design a plan for the future 7,000 hectare Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA).

His wife, Rosamund, joined him here in 1968, where she took a course in accounting. She used her skills to create administrative, payroll and records systems for CVWMA, which she maintained and updated over the years.

Dwight was appointed as the first director and dedicated 20 years of his life to CVWMA, during which time wildlife flocked to the wetlands. The area has been successfully recognized as a Ramsar Site (1994), Important Bird Area (2002) and Important Amphibian and Reptile Area (2005).

Dwight passed away in 1989 and his family is honored to keep his memory alive through this project.

“The whole concept of a wetland in the city is really innovative,” said Rosamund at the inauguration. “I am very grateful to the community, the city and the people who put together the plan, the proposals and everything that goes into a project like this. It’s extremely touching and something my family and I will never forget.

The park is now open to the public to explore the trails, search for wildlife, and enjoy the views of the Creston Valley.

“One look will tell you it’s going to be an amazing place,” Rosamund said. “It’s a gift for birdwatchers and explorers of all kinds, as the water will attract many, many species.”

Although it still looks unfinished, it will continue to evolve over time as grass, vegetation, and more water fills in. In the future, there are plans to add educational signage and bat condos.

Crawford Hill Reservoir Concept Site Plan.  (Town of Creston)

Crawford Hill Reservoir Concept Site Plan. (Town of Creston)

ConservationCreston Valley

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