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Oxbows or Progress

This morning I thought I’d take a walk along the path between the oxbows and the highway, from Kinney Avenue to Green Avenue. Back in May I took in the “Friends of the Oxbows Tour” (part of the annual Meadowlark Festival in the South Okanagan), and posted photos and descriptions then. So my plan today was to take autumn photos of this particular part of the oxbows tour. I’d been through there in the summer, and except for the increased dryness, things were pretty much the same.

But sadly, it seems that “progress” is more important than maintaining the increasingly small areas of green space in our city, whether it be plans to turn several acres of lakeshore park into waterslides, or expand the highway to allow a new access across the channel–and slice off a good chunk of the oxbow trail in the process. Not to mention that in some spots the broadened highway and fence that runs alongside it leaves only a foot or two of space beside oxbows, surely breaking bylaws related to riparian space beside waterways. Oh, and did I mention that you can no longer walk all the way to Green Avenue; a fence has been placed across the path to prevent people enjoying the oxbow in that area, which has been so generously cared for by the resident on its east side. But that’s okay–several areas of the path are now so narrow that one must hang onto the fence to prevent sliding down into the oxbow below. (Click on the pictures to see full size!)

To top all this off, all along the new fencing and highway extension, the workers have tossed into the riparian areas next to the oxbows, the wooden stakes used as markers during the construction. I suppose they reasoned that the markers are biodegradable (well, maybe except for the plastic tags tied around them!), so no problem. No problem if you don’t mind setting an example to locals and tourists of how to litter. Fortunately, I saw potential for them as garden posts, and I picked up all the ones still in good shape and dropped them off to a neighbour who has a large garden. A number of broken stakes are still scattered along the oxbow path; I suppose it would be too much to ask the city fathers to send someone out to gather them? (I’d have gathered all of them, but a person my size and age can only carry so much).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I also see that the oxbows are even more overgrown than they were this spring, and I don’t see the city making any effort to dredge the “introduced” species which are taking over the open water so necessary to birds and wildlife. Maybe if they get overgrown enough, they can be filled in and become locations for more waterslides? Hmmm!

Thankfully, mother nature still manages to show her beauty despite mankind’s best efforts to provide progress and tidy up nature’s wildness–as you can see below.

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Comments on: "Oxbows or Progress" (7)

  1. rfcrichards@telus.net said:

    It’s very sad Norma. I notice how the bush was cut and left laying nearly obscuring the trail. I must add tough that the west side of the oxbows in on reserve land, so city bylaw do not really apply. When brush like this is cut though I’d like to see that it I at least chipped so access is easier.

    • Yes, I’m aware that it is on reserve land–I wonder if the reserve is aware of this? I also wonder if the province okayed the highway being pushed so close, destroying riparian areas and leading to more vegetation growth in the oxbows themselves, since the waterway is provincial! This is part of the problem with the oxbows; anything done must be in agreement between the city (east side), province (waterways), and reserve (west side). Complicated!

  2. miladyronel said:

    Thanks for sharing. The photos are beautiful.

  3. Bob Anderson said:

    Thanks for this. I’m forwarding this to our Steering Committee. Bob

  4. Randy Manuel. said:

    It may be of interest to add some information. The City and the Indian Band did co-operate in the removal of some 360 plus cubic metres of debris, sand from street runoff, and over grown bull rushes. ( Itand to be corrected on the cubic metres number) BUT, we now have a very vibrant oxbow at the foot of Brandon ave., with nature returning. Were machines had to access the oxbow from the reserve side, there intrusion has been replanted with riparian plants, that thanks to the wet fall should regenerated well this coming spring.
    Randy Manuel.
    .

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