For decades, Brandt Creek, just North of downtown Kelowna, BC, carried industrial waste, agricultural run-off, and storm sewer debris, which emptied into Okanagan Lake.
In 1992, a group of residents decided that something needed to be done so they formed a committee lead by the local Rotary Club and developed a plan to create a marsh at the confluence of the creek and the lake.
The logistics of building the marsh included bringing in massive amounts of fill. Heavy machinery was used to shape the mounds and ponds. Huge protective rocks were stationed along the lakeside edge to protect the marsh from the wave action of the lake. Next, literally thousands of indigenous trees, shrubs and plants plus over two hundred pounds of wildflower seeds were planted. Finally, a series of boardwalks were constructed to enable residents to enjoy the marsh and learn about the importance of marshlands.
The fundraising efforts produced donations from many sources including individual citizens, Rotary members, trusts, foundations, plus the Provincial Government and the City of Kelowna. Over a million dollars was spent on the project. The park opened in 1995 and is now home to over 100 species of birds and 5 mammals. The marsh is also an important spawning ground for many fish species.