October 5, 2020 An AWESOME team of 8 volunteers spent Sunday morning mulching our berm to settle it for winter. Hard work but with many hands it went well. The hope is to prevent pesky weeds establishing themselves before we can decide on a final landscape design to maintain the berm long-term. It may be a mixture of rocks and small shrubs/plants This will be the final stage of our creek restoration project and will be done next year.
September 25, 2020 – Kalamalka Rotary News Interview with Judy Maile, Abbeyfield House
September 15, 2020 Restoring the creek bank with native shrubs and trees has begun. Our volunteer gardeners, Flo and Will, are working hard planting willow whips among the rocks, and native shrubs along the creek side of the berm. The need for regular watering and precarious work in the rocks makes team work vital! Way to go Will and Flo!
With abundant community support, a long-awaited creek restoration project is now underway at two Vernon retirement homes.
Abbeyfield House first encountered erosion along its Vernon creek bank in the spring of 2017. The result was a washed out fence and flooding at the rear of the property located where the creek meets 27 Avenue. High water levels this spring and in the spring of 2018 further crumbled the bank towards the building.
After more than three years, the Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society has raised the roughly $43,000 needed for the project, and the restoration work along the creek’s western bank began on Monday, Aug. 24.
“It’s been quite a project,” said Judy Maile, president of the society’s board of directors. “We’re all really excited that we’ve gotten to this stage.”
Abbeyfield’s neighbours at Vernon Restholm experienced similar damage along the creek bank, and the two societies have partnered to restore both properties at the same time.
Bear Paw Construction is carrying out the restoration work along the bank and will install a berm to raise the ground level in the rear corner of the site. Ecoscape Environmental Consultants has been hired to ensure the stabilization work complies with all required environmental regulations.
Maile says the project is on track to be completed by the end of next week — within the window permitted for work in or around a stream, which closes mid-September.
Fundraising efforts were supported by Silver Star Rotary and the Vernon Lions Club, while grants were supplied by the Kalamalka Rotary Club, Armstrong Regional Co-op, Abbeyfield B.C. Trust, the B.C. Legion Foundation, the Royal Bank Foundation, Vernon Alliance Church, and the McLean Foundation — on top of “generous donations” from the community.
“The society is extremely grateful for the support it’s received from these organizations and the community,” Maile said.
The directors of Abbeyfield House’s society in Vernon recognize the important role that volunteers play in the lives of their residents. Volunteers help with social programs, special events, and daily operational tasks and provide assistance to staff. They also comprise the volunteer management board.
The Abbeyfield board wants to highlight four of their long-term volunteers who have generously donated their time and energy for a combined total of forty-seven years. Virginia Dansereau has volunteered for fifteen years reading weekly to residents, playing cribbage and cards in the early years, and running a brain gym class more recently. Norman Slingsby initiated movie night ten years ago and still manages that social gathering. This year is Will McAllister‘s tenth year as volunteer gardener looking after the vegetable patch growing fresh produce which contributes to the healthy home style meals the residents love. Margaret Naylor has been a director on the volunteer board of Abbeyfield for thirteen years and for most of those years has held the position of Secretary. She also volunteers her time to play cribbage with residents regularly and assists with special events. There are at least six other long-term volunteers who have contributed over five years each to Abbeyfield House, and many more who have given us occasional help for several years and whom we rely on for entertainment, social connections with residents, and for our annual special events and fundraisers.
the help of Virginia, Will, Norman and Margaret, and all of our volunteers, we
wouldn’t be able to offer our residents the social programs that we do, or the
opportunity to enjoy our lovely garden area, or to hold our special events. These volunteers become a part of our
Abbeyfield family, a close and familiar friend, and make such a difference to
the daily lives of our residents. We
can’t thank them enough”, says Board President Judy Maile, “We will
be holding a volunteer appreciation tea at the house for all of our volunteers
in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 16th.”
A recent generous donation of $1,500 from the Armstrong Regional Cooperative was received by Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society (Abbeyfield Vernon) this week. “We are so grateful for this financial support for our BX Creek Bank Stabilization project. It helps our small non-profit seniors residence complete what will be a very costly project to protect our residence” stated Nicole Kohnert, Past President and Project Manager.
The floods of 2017 and 2018 caused significant damage to the west bank of BX Creek that runs through the property, resulting in fencing, trees and shrub damage and bank erosion. In order to prevent further damage Abbeyfield Vernon contracted a consultant to assist with the permitting, design and installation of bank stabilization and replanting. A request for quotations will be issued this spring to procure construction contractors. It is expected that provincial permits will be received by August this year and work can proceed during the short in stream works window.
Bartlett Tree Experts have topped the dangerous tall willows along the creek and taken some limbs of an old elm at the rear. The photograph shows how tall the tree is against the house.
This has made the area much safer, and should reduce the amount of debris that would otherwise have fallen into the creek during the winter and early spring. Planning for the bank restoration is moving along nicely.
We have now signed a contract with the consulting firm, EcoScape, who will assess, prepare a design, and apply for permits for the required restoration work to the creek bank.
Our goal is to complete the restoration work in August 2019.
Finishing of landscaping to the gardens and the new bank areas will also be done in the fall if possible, or early spring 2020.
Fundraising continues and some of this work is still dependent upon sufficient funding being in place.
Abbeyfield House is located on 27th Ave in Vernon and is home for up to ten single seniors.
BX Creek runs along the East boundary of our property. In Spring 2017, the rear corner of our grounds flooded and the creek bank suffered erosion due to the very high and fast flowing water. This erosion undermined a fence post and a section of our fence, and our walking path is now a mere foot away from the crumbling bank’s edge.
BX Creek flooding
The water level has risen again this year. Several of our boundary stakes are now standing in water. We must act this year to prevent further damage to the bank and prevent further flooding. Please help us restore the bank so the residents of Abbeyfield House can enjoy the peaceful haven of their creekside garden next year.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our situation. We are extremely grateful for any donation you can make, big or small.
What has to be done to stabilize the banks?
Several large trees within the creek must be cut down and stumps removed.
Trees overhanging the creek must be trimmed.
The creek bank must be restored.
Existing landscaping and the walking path along the east side will likely need to be removed.
Professionals recommend cutting back the bank to create a slope, which can then be reinforced with plantings or rocks. We may also need to increase the ground level at the rear of the property to prevent future flooding.
What is the budget for this work? The cost for this project is estimated at $50,000 – $70,000, which would cover the cost of engineering and hydrology consulting services, the necessary permits, as well as construction and landscaping teams.
What happens if this project is not funded? If we are unable to raise funds for this project, the creek will continue to erode the bank, encroaching closer to the House. Eventually, water may seep into the basement of the House or reach the side of the building where patio doors to resident rooms are located.
How soon can this project get started? Donated funds will enable the Society to address this project in a timely manner to prevent further costly damage. Preliminary bank restoration can be started as soon as sufficient funds are available. Tree removal must be completed within the time frame allowed for access to the creek bed (early Fall). Our goal is to complete this project within 2018 if possible.
More about Abbeyfield Vernon: Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society is a non-profit charitable organization. Its volunteer board of directors operates an independent living facility that is home to single seniors who no longer wish to live alone or to maintain their homes. They seek security, companionship, assistance with meals, and enjoy the social connections to other like individuals. Most are in the age range of 75 to 95 years and are contributing members of their family, circle of friends, and community.
Thank you so much for your support! Judy Maile, President
Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society
P.S. Cheques can be made payable to Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon Society and mailed to Box 416, Vernon, V1T 6M3, or delivered to the House at 3511 27th Avenue, Vernon. Make sure you leave an address so that donation receipts can be mailed to you.