SLLP community project idea to work on during the 2018 Fraser River journey: restoring a decommissioned sawmill site on the Courtenay River. Local nonprofit Project Watershed is undertaking the most significant wilderness restoration or “rewilding” project in the history of the Comox Valley -- the return of the old Fields Sawmill site to natural riverside habitat. This collaborative effort in partnership with the K'omoks First Nation, to remove nearly four hectares of pavement and other debris, is the top action we can take to support wild salmon in the Courtenay River -- and to help save the world-class K’omoks Estuary. Comox Valley Youth Media Project graduate Jessica Speck recently created a short video highlighting what Kus-kus-sum means to our community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSKHzSSkWN0
This project, on which I am volunteering as a storyteller and community organizer, is named Kus-kus-sum to honour the K’omoks First Nation's historic uses of this site within the K'omoks Traditional Territory. Here is a recent article to which I contributed research and writing: https://watershedsentinel.ca/articles/kus-kus-sum/
The third community partner in this project is the City of Courtenay, which recognizes that the restoration is also an opportunity to transform an "eco liability" (flood-prone, manmade bottleneck with a steel "salmon killing wall") into an "eco asset" instead. As a pilot project of the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative, Kus-kus-sum is a case study for BC and Canada in how communities can fully value the services and benefits that we receive from thriving and resilient "green infrastructure".