One of the Elk River Alliance’s five new interpretive signs aimed at improving Elk River health and environmental literacy. The sign at Annex Pond is labelled ‘Managing Your Stormwater Pollution’. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

One of the Elk River Alliance’s five new interpretive signs aimed at improving Elk River health and environmental literacy. The sign at Annex Pond is labelled ‘Managing Your Stormwater Pollution’. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

New ERA signs in Fernie aim to increase Elk River health, environmental literacy

New signs have been posted by the Elk River Alliance in collaboration with the Ktunaxa Nation

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) has installed five new interpretive signs around Fernie.

“If you frequent the municipal green spaces around Fernie, you may have noticed some new signs pop up along the trails,” reads a press release from ERA outreach and education coordinator, Evgeni Matveev.

The ERA installed four of the signs in Fernie, and one at the Mr. Fernie Provincial Park. They are meant to increase Elk River health and environmental literacy.

The ERA worked with the Ktunaxa Nation on three of the signs to include teachings about conservation, land stewardship, and the Ktunaxa language, the release says.

Each sign was tailored to the area it was placed.

“The sign by Coal Creek encourages people not to build rock dams in the summer and includes Ktunaxa land-stewardship principles.

“The sign by Annex Pond depicts a diagram of the stormwater drainage system in Fernie and shows how all the street pollution goes directly into the river.

“The sign on the north side of the North Bridge covers some basic fish handling rules and includes a Ktunaxa teaching of Skinkuȼ and Na-ḱyu (Coyote and Fox).

“The sign by Maiden Lake explains how wetlands clean the water and create a healthy ecosystem with local animals translated into the Ktunaxa language.

“The sign along Lizard Creek in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park shows the lifecycle of the Westslope Cutthroat Trout and advises people against wading through the stream during trout mating season.”

The release thanks the volunteers who helped with the initiative.

Matveev said the signs were the first project he’d undertaken when starting with the ERA in September.

“It was a lot of figuring out how to do things for the first time, but in the end, I’m really happy with how they turned out.

“I hope the Fernie community feels that way too.”

Funders for the signs include: Fortis BC, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Columbia Basin Trust, Watersheds BC, Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Government of BC, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

READ MORE: Elk River Alliance presents 2020 watershed monitoring results, says sites overall ‘looking pretty good’

READ MORE: Elk River Alliance spearheads program to collaborate on watershed monitoring


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josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

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