Ducks Unlimited, CBT complete Elizabeth Lake rebuild project

Water control structures mean healthier marsh, better wildlife habitat.

A crew from Hebditch Holdings is pictured working on building the new water control structure at Elizabeth Lake this past fall. The steel structure will allow DUC to control the water levels

A crew from Hebditch Holdings is pictured working on building the new water control structure at Elizabeth Lake this past fall. The steel structure will allow DUC to control the water levels

A Cranbrook landmark, which happens to be one of the province’s oldest conservation projects, has undergone a rejuvenation thanks to Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

The two organizations worked together to bebuild the water control structures at Elizabeth Lake, on the edge of Cranbrook, which means a more healthy marsh and excellent wildlife habitat.

The six-hectare Elizabeth Lake Park is a wildlife reserve on a migratory bird flight path. Every year the wetlands and lake become a nesting and feeding grounds for many different species.

“Before the initial enhancement work nearly 30 years ago, the wetland was overgrown with bulrush and was at risk of being drained and encroaching urban development,” said Brad Arner, manager of provincial operations for B.C. “Because the original structures were starting to deteriorate, this rebuild was needed to eliminate those risks and to ensure this important waterfowl habitat was not lost.”

The rebuild of Elizabeth Lake’s water controls will allow the area to continue as both excellent wildlife habitat, and a recreational and educational resource for the city of Cranbrook and surrounding communities for another 30 years. DUC did most of the groundwork, with financial support from CBT. DUC also received funding from B.C.’s Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for this project.

“A new water control system will help maintain the lake’s ecological integrity for decades to come,” said Rick Allen, CBT program manager, environment.

CBT supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1.800.505.8998.