MLWS 2020 District of North Vancouver Field Trip
DNV Field Trip
On January 11th, the Master of Land and Water Systems students and faculty ventured to the District of North Vancouver for the first field trip of the new year. The group braved the wind chill in the company of MLWS alumna Erika Nassichuk, an Environmental Protection Officer and Richard Boase, a Section Manager Environmental Sustainability (Operations) at the District of North Vancouver. Erika and Richard welcomed us with a short presentation at the District of North Vancouver Municipal Hall before we got back on the road and headed to our first stop, Grousewoods Basin. There, we saw an example of a DNV flood mitigation project with restoration planting completed in 2019 and discussed their Wildfire Hazard Development Permit Area and mitigation works. Next, we visited Stellar Place to view a creek bank stabilization project shared between the DNV and a private landowner.
A short walk from the Cleveland Dam parking lot brought the group to the Prospect Small Lot Infill Area. Erika and Richard spoke about how lots in this area are subdivided from large, single-family lots into two 33’ wide single-family lots. Richard tested the students’ knowledge with a fun pop-quiz about stormwater management and tree retention before walking back to the Dam. The Cleveland Dam, a favourite dog-walking spot for the locals, resulted in the creation of Capilano Lake, a manmade drinking water source for the Lower Mainland. It proved to be an excellent spot for a group photo! Afterwards, the group drove to Handsworth Secondary School to learn about the various impacts of stormwater outfalls into an urban salmon-bearing stream. Further down a path, the group had the chance to see a Coho spawning habitat.
Soups up! The group enjoyed boxed lunches at the Capilano River Hatchery before discussing salmon species found in the River. With stomachs full, the group looked at a constructed, blocked-off channel habitat feature created by the DNV. Erika and Richard pointed out the young willow stake plantings, the first in the area. Finally, the last stop of the day was to Lower Mackay Creek. The group took a walk along the creek, checking out restoration projects, a salmon spawning habitat, pollution issues and an estuary infill area. Richard and Erika pointed out the impacts of beaver activity on the urban stream and their on-going management activities to try and “co-exist” with the beavers. We ended this jam-packed, informative day with a sleepy bus ride back to campus.
Thank you so much to our hosts, Erika Nassichuk and Richard Boase from the District of North Vancouver!
If you would like to learn more about the Master of Land and Water Systems, or how the program can help give you the tools to advance your career, visit our website!