BC Hydro said they're done with clean-up in the Illecillewaet Greenbelt area after dredging work in March and April.

Update: Hydro leaves rutted, rocky road after Illecillewaet dredging

BC Hydro has left a scarified, rutted road through the Illecillewaet Greenbelt following dredging on the Illecillewaet River.

Definitely a work in progress. That was the appearance of the rutted, rock-strewn road built by BC Hydro to access the Illecillewaet River for dredging in March and April.

Until about a week ago, when Hydro covered the dirt road with a spray coating of hydroseed – the green mixture of grass seed mix and fertilizer you see sprayed on industrial landscaping projects. There, finished, said the green coating.

You have to walk through the rough road to get to the gravel trail leading to the Mark Kingsbury Memorial Bridge. The roadway winds through the greenbelt down to the river. It’s covered in ruts and rough edges, with cantaloupe-sized rocks scattered here and there at its edges.

That’s it?‘ was the reaction of one passer-by to the bulldozer trail through the Illecillewaet Greenbelt, a recreation and conservation area popular with walkers, runners, bikers, naturalists and the dog crowd.

Jennifer Walker-Larsen is the BC Hydro spokesperson for the Revelstoke area.

In an email responding to Times Review questions about the aftermath, she confirmed that BC Hydro’s contractor is in fact done.

“The site restoration work has been completed including the permanent access route to the river from the Illecillewaet River dyke,” she wrote in an April 16 email. “The access route was scarified with heavy equipment to reduce ground compaction and prepare the site for planting.”

She said the hydroseed mix would prevent weed colonization and erosion.

“Right now the site is rough due to the scarification. It will flatten out naturally over time as it regrows.”

Walker-Larsen explained the road was a “permanent access route” that has been used for previous dredging projects by BC Hydro, the forests ministry and the City of Revelstoke.

***

Update: Sunday, April 21, 1:30 p.m.

Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society treasurer Don Pegues said society members aren’t happy with the result of the clean-up.

“It was quite upsetting. It needs a bit of loving,” Pegues told the Times Review. “Hydro should be looking after this. We had trails down there you could push a chariot along them quite nicely. Now it’s just a rock garden.”

The local conservation group manages a 22-acre parcel located near the Mark Kingsbury Memorial Bridge. They maintain the walking trails to create a conservation-based natural park setting.

Pegues said society members did a site tour with BC Hydro and City of Revelstoke representatives before the dredging started, and had an expectation things would be sorted out better once it was done.

“My assumption was Hydro was going to come through and make it look pretty. And they didn’t,” he said.

He said he got the impression BC Hydro was “walking away” from the project. “They’re not trying to do anything to rehab the trails down there.”

He disagreed with the BC Hydro spokesperson’s view that the trail would heal over time. He also said high reservoir levels this summer might undo some of the remediation work when newly-seeded areas are flooded.

Pegues said a BC Hydro biologist would be attending an upcoming Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society board meeting, where they’d lay out their requests.

He said it wouldn’t take much; a five-person crew with hand tools and gravel making the trails useable again.

***

Do you use the area to walk, jog or wheel around that area? What do you think of the site clean-up following the dredging work? Give the Times Review a call at 250-837-4667 or leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Highways in and out of Revelstoke close

Highway 1 is now open to single alternative traffic, but Highway 23 south is closed

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Though dogs aren’t prohibited on all of the trails they must always be on leash

Terry Fox run in Revelstoke coming up Sept. 15

There will be a 2 km, 5 km and 10 km

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Preliminary inquiry set for accused Penticton killer

John Brittain, 68, will be back in Penticton court from Jan. 27 to 31

Most Read