In 2011 a storm with hurricane-force winds swept up the lake and toppled scores of trees in the region. The Kohan Garden suffered the loss of several giant black poplars which, as they fell, tore up the shoreline banks and an access path between two lawns. SLGS, in partnership with the Village of New Denver, embarked on a project to repair the damage and, as stewards of the shoreline boundary of the Garden, the Society saw an excellent opportunity to provide a model of shoreline horticulture and stewardship that was consistent with both ecological and aesthetic values. To this end, they hired a consultant, Eileen Senyk of Benchmark Environmental Services, to write an Ecosystem Restoration Plan (ERP) for replanting and securing the lakeshore bank.

The ERP recognized that garden activities have not always been compatible with the ecology of the adjacent riparian zone and therefore prescribed removing invasive and non-native interlopers on the foreshore and the planting of attractive native species along the shoreline. Industrial-weight barrier cloth, large boulders and driftwood stabilized the bank. All work for altering the shoreline or working on the foreshore was done with permits and permissions from the appropriate government agencies. The ERP was gifted to the Village for future community use.

Redfish School of Change students introduced a boost of enthusiasm to the project as they spent two days installing a mix of Nootka rose, snowberry, red osier dogwood, Saskatoon, and kinnikinnick shrubs between boulders and along the highwater mark in order to increase stability of the bank. The native herbaceous perennials, goldenrod, Douglas aster, yarrow and pearly everlasting, bring later-season colour and bloom to the shoreline. These native plants are also favourite food and shelter habitat for songbirds and wildlife.

Later work created a grassy ramp between garden areas providing wheelchair access.

An interpretive sign, “The Amazing Shoreline World,” installed at the Garden entrance next to the shoreline restoration site, gives the visitor a glimpse into the rich interactions between the lake and upland ecosystems along the riparian and foreshore areas.

Slocan Lake Garden Society thanks all the volunteers and professionals who shared their enthusiasm and skills with the project:

Working Partner: The Village of New Denver.

Funding Sources and In-Kind Support: Village of New Denver, Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program (New Denver, Silverton and RDCK Area H), KSCU Community Foundation and RDCK Community Development Fund, Stuart Nelson (Silverton Transport), Kayte Rock (Soup Du Jar).

Volunteers: Redfish School of Change students and instructors, SLGS volunteers.

Professionals: Robert Van de Werve (machine operator), Eileen Senyk of Benchmark Environmental Services (Ecosystem Restoration Plan), Terry Anderson (MOE), Cindy Walker (Project Manager).