Destruction of Seasonal Ponds in Linley Valley West

The recent destruction of a seasonal pond in Linley Valley West is a sad reminder of the short sightedness of Nanaimo City Council and staff. Here are some pictures taken last week:

Seasonal ponds in Linley Valley West
Seasonal ponds destroyed in Linley Valley West

What are seasonal ponds and why are they important?

A seasonal or ‘vernal’ pond is a pool of water that exists for only part of the year, often drying up by the summer and not reappearing again until the fall rain starts. Because of this cycle, seasonal ponds support a special ecosystem, and a number of insects and amphibeans live here which cannot survive anywhere else.

The City of Langford recognized the importance of its seasonal pond—why couldn’t Nanaimo?

Spencer’s Pond, designated as a City Park by the City of Langford, BC, is a seasonal (vernal) pond located between Leigh Road and Spencer Middle School. It is home to a wide variety of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. There are no fish as the pond dries up completely in the late summer for a short time. This keeps the potential bullfrog epidemic at bay because the tadpole stage of bullfrogs is longer than one year.

Insects include damselflies, dragonflies, backswimmers, water boatmen, giant water bugs, diving beetles, water scorpions, caddisflies and mayflies. Amphibians include Pacific tree frogs, red legged frogs and salamanders. Because of the healthy assortment of insects and amphibians, as well as the work of birds and bats, there are very few mosquitoes present at the pond.

Despite numerous biological reports and over 6,000 signed petitions sent over two years to the City of Nanaimo, staff and councillors remain mute on the subject. Follow Team Save Linley Valley West on facebook as it continues to document the plight of this ecosystem for the record.

What is the future of North Nanaimo? Linley Valley West is one of the last continuous green spaces in the north end of the city that hasn’t been clearcut all at once and left to sit idle with developers’ signs left as permanent fixtures still advertising unsold units seven years later.

Time is running out. Please come to the Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on October 21, 2013 at 4:30pm at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. There will be three delegations speaking from Team Save Linley Valley West and they need your support.