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Nelson council concerned with condition of Duck Bay

Some members of Nelson city council are concerned with the condition of a waterfront wetland on Kootenay Lake.

Duck Bay was created in 2017 as a partnership between Ducks Unlimited, the City of Nelson, the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS) and Selkirk College.

“(It) looks like heck,” Mayor John Dooley uttered during a budget meeting last week, “Even the ducks don’t like it.” The mayor was referring to the sign that greets people at the west end of Rotary Lakeside Park.

But even the wetland, which is supposed to filter stormwater, is drawing questions from some on council like Keith Page.

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“From my perspective, it seems that the wetland component of it is not quite as robust as you would want it to be to reach the values you aspire to with that signage,” Coun. Page said during a budget meeting last week.

Page questioned whether the wetland is serving the purpose or if it’s “scratching the potential that’s there,” adding that a grant could “raise the level of what it’s doing for everybody.”

The city plans to contact the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society.

Speaking with Vista Radio, FOKLSS Program Manager Kayla Tillapaugh says they are very interested in developing the site further and are receptive to council’s concerns.

She says the sign designer reached out to Friends of Kootenay Lake to see about “reinvigorating” the sign, which is on City of Nelson property. The FOKLSS has asked the city if it will put some money toward it.

As for the wetland and echoing Coun. Page, Tillapaugh says the site could be more robust.

She says if the site is not meeting council’s vision, it would take a full assessment of the wetland and that will require money.

Contrary to Mayor Dooley’s assertion the vegetation has been eaten, Tillapaugh says that a lot of the riparian vegetation planted years ago is thriving.

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