The condemned office building at Kus-kus-sum, formerly Field’s Sawmill, is coming down this week. Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, is leading the work.
“This moment has been years in the making.” says Dan Bowen, Project Watershed Technical Director. Project Watershed, in partnership with the City of Courtenay and the K’ómoks First Nation, began fundraising for the purchase and restoration of the property in 2017. With assistance from the community, funding organisations and the Province of British Columbia the site was secured at the end of November 2020.
Dig-Dug Mini Bobcat & Excavating Service, working with B&D Containers Ltd., began the demolition Monday and plan to have the building fully removed by the end of the week. The site is an active construction zone. Motorists are asked to refrain from pulling over to watch the process, especially on the Kus-kus-sum side of the road.
Removing the building is the precursor to the major demolition work that will occur over the summer to remove the 8.3 acres of concrete that covers the site. Soils and other materials will be transported off the site in preparation of regrading it to natural streamside elevations. Waterways will be created on the site and native vegetation will be planted. “Eventually, we see the site blending into the adjacent natural area, Hollyhock flats.” reports Jennifer Sutherst, Project Watershed Senior Staff Biologist.
The restoration work will occur over the next 2 -4 four years, depending on the availability of funds to support it. To contribute to the restoration or to find out more visit www.kuskussum.ca.
Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is a registered non-profit environmental society with Canadian charitable tax status focused on sensitive habitat stewardship. They manage research, restoration, assessment, protection and awareness raising projects in the Comox Valley including the K’ómoks Estuary. While restoring Kus-kus-sum to natural habitat is their most ambitious project, it is not their only one. Find out more at www.projectwatershed.ca.
For more information, contact the Project Watershed office (250 703-2871).