10 Cool Facts about the Riverside Wetlands/Ském’em Community Park – take the survey before May 1
A handful of reasons why the SLRD wants to secure the land around Bathtub Trail as parkland, and has been collaborating with Lil’wat Nation to craft a joint park management plan, to apply for tenure.
Fill out the survey on the draft Plan – they’re shooting for at least 100 responses to ensure that all users’ needs are reflected in the plan.
- Ském’em means ‘to dig edible roots’ in Ucwalmicwts and reflects the traditional use for the lowland area of the park.
- The park is 91 riverside acres, including old growth forest and wetlands, within walking distance from Village of Pemberton.
- From fairy shrimps to whirligig beetles, to rubber boas and the hairy cat’s ear, over 550 different species have been identified within the park thanks to the annual Bio Blitz counts.
- Birdwatching bonanza? Check. The park is an important flyway and breeding area for waterfowl.
- The veery, a songbird that spends its summers in the Riverside Wetlands/Ském’em Community Park, has been tracked and proven to overwinter in the Amazon rainforest. The birds each migrate individually in the dark of the night, following some genetically imprinted GPS system.
- The upland section of the park is a completely different ecosystem, where the warm dry climate led to discovery of the rare, red-listed Sharp Tailed Snake, far outside its normal range.
- The 4 key objectives of the park management plan are Conservation, Preservation of Lil’wat Nation Cultural Sites and Traditional Uses, Education and Recreation
- There are many culturally modified trees, and cache pits in the park that remind us of the long use of this landscape by the Lil’wat. The trail through the park is believed to be the original Lil’wat path alongside the wetland. A Lil’wat trail traversed along the left bank of the Upper Lillooet River from its headwaters at Lillooet Glacier beyond Keyhole Falls and through the Upper Lillooet Valley to Lillooet Lake.
- The park was briefly farmed in the 1940s. An old map of Riverside Park shows a “turnip patch” on the northwest corner.
- The Fulton family bought the property in 1962 and used the park as a family retreat until 2012. The concept of a nature park on this site was spearheaded by the Pemberton Wildlife Association and Stewardship Pemberton, who engaged Ducks Unlimited, fundraised for the site, and brought forward a proposal to the SLRD. Riverside Park was purchased by Ducks Unlimited, BC Nature’s Trust and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District in 2012 to be “protected for conservation and community enjoyment.”