Final Phase of Channel Enhancement Project at old Brooklyn Creek Elementary School Site Completed.
The final phase of a three-year project was completed on November 12, 2017 with sixteen hardy volunteers planting over 200 trees and shrubs along the banks of the expanded off-channel pond.
BCWS has worked with Town of Comox and Current Environmental over the past three years on the Brooklyn Creek Channel Enhancement Project. The opportunity came about when the Comox Valley School District sold the Brooklyn Elementary School property to the Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Academy in 2013. The Town of Comox acquired a corridor along the border of this property with the intent to turn the space into a restored municipal greenway and to improve fish habitat in the creek. The mainstem of Brooklyn Creek flows through the western section of this property. This reach was straightened in the 1960s to gain more land for school development and a wetland area to the south of the property was drained to create playing fields. In 2015, a first phase of restoration reestablished a meandering channel pattern with pool / riffle sequences and large woody debris structures.
The next phase of restoration involved constructing a 60-meter long off-channel pond along the southern border of the school property and connecting it to the Brooklyn Creek mainstem via a 75-metre channel. The pond was constructed in 2016 in the location of a wetland which was historically drained for a school playing field. The connection channel and off-channel pond added over 600 square meters of off-channel juvenile salmonid rearing habitat.
The third and final phase of the project was carried out in 2017 with the installation of a connection to a ground water spring located in the Northeast corner of the school property and extension of the off-channel pond. The goal of this final phase is to augment water flow into Brooklyn Creek and increase rearing habitat for cutthroat trout and coho fry. The plantings help stabilize the banks and provide shade in the summer months. Current Environmental Ltd. coordinated all activities associated with this project. The Town of Comox provided compost and mulch, as well as extra shovels and wheelbarrows.