A map from the Sept. 27, 2021, public release issued by the City of Parksville, depicting the project area for the scheduled work in the Parksville Wetlands. (Submitted photo)

A map from the Sept. 27, 2021, public release issued by the City of Parksville, depicting the project area for the scheduled work in the Parksville Wetlands. (Submitted photo)

City of Parksville to continue work on upgrades to wetlands area in early October

Satellite survey shows 174 dead trees in 13-hectare section

Starting Oct. 4, the City of Parksville will work on trails on the Coldwater Road side of the Parksville Wetlands.

In a public release, the manager of communications for the city, Deb Tardiff, wrote the work will continue the upgrades started in 2019 to the Parksville Wetlands, which saw new trails for walking, maintenance, and emergency access.

While work is underway, some areas of the wetlands may be closed.

As climate change has made summers drier, it is crucial the city provide suitable access in the wetlands for maintenance, along with emergency access for ambulance and fire protection, said Tardiff.

A grass fire in 2020 burned approximately 700 square metres of the wetlands and another fire this summer had burned a section of the wetlands in a more treed area.

READ MORE: Early-morning brush fire breaks out at Parksville wetlands

Without proper access, the potential for loss within the wetlands to fire increases.

Forsite Forest Management Specialists completed a demonstration project with the city using recent Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, a technology used to create high-resolution models of ground elevation, to survey the area.

The results of this satellite survey show 174 dead trees in the 13-hectare section of the wetlands.

Many of these trees will not be a hazard to the public, but city staff will need access to mitigate any possible concerns.

As the name suggests, there are wet areas in the Parksville Wetlands which make it difficult to use the area during all four seasons of the year. Some of these areas were addressed in 2019 and this work will continue in 2021.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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