Restoration work is underway at Abbeyfield House and Vernon Restholm along Vernon Creek as of Aug. 24, 2020, after erosion problems started in the spring of 2017. (Submitted photo)

Restoration work is underway at Abbeyfield House and Vernon Restholm along Vernon Creek as of Aug. 24, 2020, after erosion problems started in the spring of 2017. (Submitted photo)

Crews restore crumbling banks at pair of Okanagan retirement homes

Erosion issues at Abbeyfield House and Vernon Restholm started in spring 2017

  • Aug. 29, 2020 12:00 a.m.

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.

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Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com

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