Willow and red osier whips planted to fight soil erosion in Langley

Derby Reach and Brae Island Parks Association established living retaining walls last month

Derby Reach and Brae Island Parks Association’s (DRBIPA) ambassador team spent some time working on Brae Island’s living retaining wall by harvesting and planting willow and red osier whips this past February.

The harvested whips are being used as part of a bio-engineering project to shore up the banks at Bedford Channel in Brae Island Regional Park.

Once established, the plants will help stabilize the river bank against erosion and provide valuable wildlife habitat.

Roxci Bevis, volunteer and program coordinator, explained that the wattle walls are a Metro Vancouver Regional Parks bio-engineering project to help reduce and prevent erosion of the shoreline specifically along the Bedford Channel.

“The shoreline is eroding due to flooding and human use,” Bevis said. “Wattle walls are short retaining walls built of living cuttings as opposed to using new, unnatural materials. These walls take up the vertical component of the slope and allowing vegetation to become established and strengthen the shoreline over time.”

READ MORE: Number of community garden spaces growing as interest rises in Langley

There are currently two walls on Brae Island, one of the northern-most points in Langley Township.

DRBIPA supports the maintenance of the wattle walls by planting trees when needed and doing weeding and mulching.

“Our volunteer Park Ambassadors are a group of people who come from all walks of life, who love our public green spaces and want them to endure for generations to come,” Bevis added.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the walls or signing up as a volunteer, people can visit www.drbipa.org.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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