PSF hosts first-ever Volunteer Day in North Vancouver

Over 25 volunteers discover hands-on salmon restoration with local streamkeepers.

On Nov. 6, PSF hosted its inaugural Volunteer Day for donors in North Vancouver.

Donors, streamkeepers, and staff came together to help restore salmon habitat in Lynn Creek. Under the guidance of the North Shore Streamkeepers Society, volunteers learned about local efforts to bring back salmon.

“It used to all just be hard- packed gravel,” streamkeeper Glen Parker says, pointing at the creek’s edge by the Bridgeman Park Shelter Area. “But with the help of our partners, all of that was replanted with native material to give the river more room and to reclaim the riparian habitat. The plants provide shade for the river to keep it cooler. The water that runs in is cleaner because it’s going through vegetation. It just improves the river for salmon in an area that’s highly urbanized.”

A streamkeeper explains habitat restoration efforts to volunteers near Lynn Creek.

Streamkeeper Glen Parker explains the North Shore Streamkeepers Society’s efforts to restore salmon habitat. Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth & John Christie

Throughout the day, volunteers helped put the finishing touches on one of North Shore Streamkeepers’ more ambitious projects, a new salmon-friendly side channel that received funding from PSF. The volunteers were invited to restore the shores of a tranquil outlet which splits off from the fast-moving Lynn Creek.

“What we’ve tried to do here is mimic nature with a log jam,” Parker explains. “This jam is three layers of logs and boulders deep, and it’s like a spear that’s deviating a small portion of the stream to create salmon habitat.”

The streamkeepers are confident the new channel offers a haven for juvenile salmon and will also support local wildlife like otters and birds.

A log jam diverts part of Lynn Creek into a tranquil secondary creek ideal for salmon spawning.

This log jam diverts water from Lynn Creek to create tranquil salmon habitat. Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth & John Christie

After a safety briefing from district park staff, volunteers planted native species in disturbed areas and drove willow and dogwood stakes into the stream’s eroded shores. They also cut invasive ivy strangling nearby trees.

“Many PSF donors expressed interest in volunteering, and we wanted to provide a safe and accessible opportunity for them to experience the field work that streamkeepers in B.C. do day in and day out,” says Cory Matheson, Senior Manager, Business Development at PSF.

“This inaugural PSF Volunteer Day allowed dozens of supporters to get out in nature and experience firsthand the sort of great work for salmon that is possible with their financial support.”

PSF was pleased to welcome employees from numerous organizations, including Neptune Terminals, Paper Excellence, Pembina Pipeline, Teck Resources, and YVR Airport. Major donors directly contribute to PSF’s grantmaking through the Community Salmon Program and invest in salmon research to support restoration projects like those of the North Shore Streamkeepers.

Two volunteers plant willow and dogwood on a stream's shoreline.

James Meaney from Pembina Pipeline (left) and Timothy James from Teck Resources (right) plant native species along Lynn Creek’s shores. Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth & John Christie


Volunteers plant native species along the shores of Lynn Creek.

Brad Walker from Neptune Terminals (left) and Adam Todd from Pembina Pipeline (right) help plant live dogwood and willow stakes by Lynn Creek. Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth & John Christie

Major donors directly contribute to PSF’s grantmaking through the Community Salmon Program and invest in salmon research to support restoration projects like those of the North Shore Streamkeepers.

“It’s one thing to be a part of it, donate to it, support it, but it’s another thing to come out and invest your time,” said Brad Walker, Vice President of Health, Safety & Environment at Neptune Terminals.

“To come out here and see the amount of work that’s already been put into this secondary creek is incredible. The thought that’s been put into it, and the benefit for the salmon running up – it looks fantastic.”

For our hosts at the North Shore Streamkeepers Society, having some extra hands accelerated their efforts to restore the riparian habitat around Lynn Creek. It was also an opportunity to connect with members of the community.

“It’s been great to meet all the people who came out today,” shared streamkeeper Paul Lhotka. “A lot of people have to come together to make this a success. It takes years to put a project like this together, and months to build it. Hopefully, it works really well for salmon.”

In about six hours, the volunteer crews successfully planted dozens of native species, including dogwood and willow, which can help prevent erosion. The habitat restoration streamkeepers do across B.C. help ensure salmon have a healthy stream to return to every year.

Volunteers gather under a tent once the salmon habitat restoration work is complete.

Our volunteer crews included PSF staff, donors, community supporters and streamkeepers. Photo credit: Linda Aylesworth & John Christie

PSF would like to thank our donors for their contributions to salmon restoration. When people for salmon come together, it’s an opportunity to not only spread the love for salmon but also have a tangible impact on local ecosystems.

Since 2007, PSF’s Community Salmon Program has supported the North Shore Streamkeepers Society with grants to restore salmon habitat at Lynn Creek, Mosquito Creek, and MacKay Creek.