A new 50-foot pedestrian foot bridge was installed in Parksville’s Shelly Creek Park South, allowing for improved public access across Shelly Creek, a key natural asset of the park.
In a press release, the city said the upgrades will also provide protection of the Shelly Creek riparian area. Upgrades to the trail will allow greater inclusivity for those with mobility challenges and the new bridge will dissuade park users from directly accessing the creek thus reducing disturbance to the resident cutthroat trout population.
A local company, Riptide Marine, built a customized aluminum bridge for the site and Current Environmental served as the liaison with the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Options and Rural Development.
Staff performed the work within the least-risk-to-fish window, following all applicable best practices for work in and around streams, including for harmful substances and spill management, the use of concrete materials, sediment and erosion control and site restoration. The onsite crew included two arborists, one of whom also has a riparian certificate as well as horticulturists and equipment operators.
The city also has an ongoing partnership with the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society to protect and repair the sensitive stream and riparian area.
The creek is home to a small population of resident coastal cutthroat trout and is the only fish-bearing stream in the city. The city has further plans with Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society volunteers to replant and restore habitat and to educate the public about creek protection.