Trans Mountain has been granted a two year permit to use 11 acres of Colony Farm Regional Park as a temporary workspace and pullback area to assemble the pipeline in association with the horizontal directional drilling operation for the Fraser River crossing.
- Northern trailhead starts adjacent to Mundy Creek parking lot
- Connects to the Colony Farm Road trail to form a circle route
- Traverses a range of habitats essential for many plants and animals
- Many resident and migratory wildlife species inhabit this area
- Some of these are designated as species at risk
- This section of public trail will be closed to park users during construction
The trail is open until construction begins on March 8, 2021, but NOTE THAT RUBBER BOOTS ARE REQUIRED TO NAVIGATE THE FLOODED SECTION!
The temporary workspace along the western edge of the park will be used for staging pipe, to weld and to coat the drag section for the new pipe that will be pulled under the Fraser River via trenchless construction. No pipe or any other permanent works will be installed in the park.
The workspace area primarily includes an existing trail/service road, wetland areas, and old field habitats. Approximately 70% of the temporary workspace area was rehabilitated in 2017 after construction of a new section of water supply pipe, along with construction of the trail in this area of the park. The Trans Mountain construction activities in the park are expected to last approximately 8 months.
Trans Mountain will fund an onsite environmental monitor to report directly to Metro Vancouver. This environmental monitor will inspect Trans Mountain’s activities to help ensure protection of the park and provide daily reports about activities and any concerns, so that any issues can be promptly reported.
- Disturbance birds, bats and other wildlife, particularly species-at-risk
- Removal of a section of existing old field habitat
- Soil compaction
- Noise and traffic
- Possible leaks and spills from construction equipment
During this time, the western perimeter trail will be closed to the public for safety reasons. Colony Farm Park is visited by thousands of people every year. This year, amidst the pandemic, Colony Farm visitors are up from 145,894 in 2019 to 270,252 (85% increase).
Old Field Habitat: The fields are designated for agricultural use under Colony Farm’s Land Use Plan. Because they have not been used for agricultural activities for several years, they have mostly converted into “old field habitat”. This regionally rare habitat type is valuable for many species of wildlife.
Agricultural fields and hedgerows provide stopover habitat for migratory birds to refuel on their migration from as far away as South America. They are also important breeding and overwintering grounds for songbirds, including the iconic Lazuli Bunting.
Common Yellowthroad, Eastern Kingbird, and Song Sparrow (Photo credit : Lee Harding)
While the nesting season for migratory birds is an especially critical time of year, the fields are used by wildlife throughout the entire year especially by raptors which forage over the fields for voles and other small mammals.
Red-tailed Hawk (Photo credit : Lee Harding)
They support a variety of large to small mammal wildlife species.
American Mink, Beaver, Black-tailed Deer, Coyote, and River Otter (Photo credit: Lee Harding)
Wetlands, Ponds and Watercourses: Seasonal and permanent wetlands provide habitat for birds, amphibians, and other wildlife.
Seasonally flooded and permanent wetlands along the perimeter trail (Photo credit : John Saremba)
Ducks in seasonally flooded field habitat (Gadwall on left, Hooded Merganser on right, Photo credit : Lee Harding)
Mature Trees: Trees provide nest/roosting habitat for birds and mammals such as bats. While the construction is not slated to destroy any mature trees, ‘hazard trees’ may be removed if they are close to the workspace and construction activity will disrupt adjacent nesting habitat.
Examples of nests along the perimeter trail (Photo credit: John Saremba)
Mature trees and saplings along the perimeter trail (Photo credit: John Saremba)
Species at risk: Several species at risk rely on habitat on or alongside the trail including:
- Oregon Forestsnail (SARA – Endangered)
- Barn Owl (SARA – Threatened)
- Barn Swallow (SARA – Threatened)
- Great Blue Heron fannini subspecies (SARA – Special concern)
- Short-eared Owl (SARA – Special concern).
Oregon Forestsnails are red-listed in BC and rely on stinging nettle patches in the field area that will be disturbed by construction (Photo credit: John Reynolds), Barn Swallows are aerial insectivores that forage over old-field habitats (Photo credit: Lee Harding)
Great Blue Heron forage in these fields as well as the drainage channels throughout the winter months. (Photo credit: John Saremba)
TOUR THE TRAIL
Section 1: Northern Trailhead (near Mundy Creek Parking Lot)
Section 2: Northwest Corner
Section 3: North-South Straightaway
Section 4: South Junction