Friends of Churn Creek meet in Dog Creek

Friends of Churn Creek Protected Area Society is looking forward to another busy year in 2011/12.

Friends of Churn Creek Protected Area Society is looking forward to another busy year in 2011/12.

The non-profit society works with BC Parks and others to increase public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of Churn Creek Protected Area, which lies just south of the Gang Ranch.

This protected area is one of the real gems in the BC Parks system, with spectacular scenery and recreational opportunities, outstanding wildlife viewing and some of the finest examples of grasslands in the entire province.

It is also home to the Empire Valley Ranch, operated on protected area and other Crown lands.Over the last two years, the Friends of Churn Creek have organized hikes into the protected are and initiated several projects conducted by volunteers. These range from hand removal of harmful invasive plants to mapping of public hiking trails.

Photos were taken at fixed locations established 10 years ago to monitor the condition of the grassland and effects of cattle grazing.

Vegetation plots were established to monitor the effects of a prescribed burn by BC Parks. Early ranching sites have been located and photographed and a watering facility for recreational horseback riders was improved.This year Friends of Churn Creek will be holding their annual general meeting on April 30 in the community of Dog Creek.

The morning annual meeting will be followed by an afternoon of short walks and other activities in the protected area. Check the website www.friendsofchurn.ca for more information.

In August the society is planning a celebration in Churn Creek Protected Area to recognize the 100th anniversary of BC Parks. Strathcona, B.C.’s first provincial park was established in March 1911.

In co-operation with the Canoe Creek Indian Band and others, this will be a family event with games, heritage and nature walks, and celebration of the many cultures that have and continue to use and enjoy the protected area. It is open to the public but the date has yet to be finalized. Watch the website for more information on this event.

This summer Friends of Churn Creek will continue to offer hikes and other activities and conduct a variety of projects within Churn Creek Protected Area.

Anyone who would like to become a member, become more involved with projects or has questions about the society is invited to contact Ordell Steen at oasteen@shaw.ca