The Lower Shuswap Stewardship Society (LSSS) partnered up with the Riverside Hall and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to upgrade the hand launch site and recreational area at the hall. There had
been talks of upgrading the hand launch site for quite sometime and DFO had visited the site last summer to plan the work. The unique challenges that were faced with the site included, a small area, heavily used for two months of the year, whether to
make it fish habitat or people friendly, the relatively short work window and of
course the bottom line! The first thing to get out of the way was “what do we want
here?” This question got passed back and forth and it was finally decided that the
hall is a place of people gathering and creating an area where children are safe and
paddlers could easily access the river in both high and low water became the most
important objectives for the site.
This was the first time DFO Restoration Biologist Sarah Ostoforoff worked on a
recreational site and Biologist Sean Bennett had only worked on a handful of
recreational sites. These sites differ from fish habitat sites in many ways. The next
question to get out of the way was when can this project start? And Sarah and Sean
penciled the hall in for the next week. This was a bit of a scramble to say the least!
But with the help of Baird Bros, Lee and Sam Polson and Victor Brandt we had all
the rock and logs there by the time DFO showed up! A huge thank you goes out to
Lee, Sam and Victor. They went way beyond and really showed up for the
community! With input from Bruce Fowler, Bruce Hedden, Shelly Verlaan, along
with both biologists the rock wall was taking shape. RJ Baird operated the
excavator and immaculately placed rocks making sure to not stir up the river at all.
After a day and a half all the heavy lifting work was out of the way...but there’s
still a lot of work to be done! The site now features a path with a gradual decline
into the river, a rock wall, and a beach that will fill in more.
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The Riverside Community Hall and the adjacent park are owned by the community through the non-profit Riverside Community Club, for the benefit of and use by the community.