News Briefs for July 13, 2016

LMS Purple Martin open house July 16

Wear purple July 16, and support the 12th annual BC Purple Martin Stewardship Day, says the Georgia Basin Ecological Assessment and Restoration Society (GBEARS).

With the Ladysmith Community Marina one of the key restoration sites, the BC Purple Martin population has increased from a low of five breeding pairs in 1985 to 1,150 pairs in 2015.

The recovery has been mainly due to the installation and maintenance of nesting boxes by volunteers.

Bruce Cousens, program biologist with the GBEARS said figures for 2016 will likely show continuing success. “Many Central-Island colonies are again fully or almost fully occupied,” he said. This is very exciting to see.”

He added, “The martin colony at the LMS marina is the largest on Vancouver Island, and we’re expecting 70-80 pairs again this year.”

Visitors to the marina will be able to watch adults feeding nestlings, learn more about the conservation of purple martins, and see nestlings being banded at 3 p.m.

Rialto a shelter for extreme weather?

A neighbourhood information meeting will be held July 18, from 5 to 7 p.m., about an application for a temporary use permit by B.C. Housing and the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association to use the Rialto Manor building at 631 First Avenue as an Emergency Weather Response (EWR) Centre.

In a notice, which appears on page 4 of today’s Chronicle, the LRCA notes that the initiative can be traced back to Jan. 2013, when “a member of our community died of exposure in the dugout at Aggie Field.”

Since then the LRCA has operated a soup kitchen in the Eagles Hall, and has had emergency shelter committees.  From Nov. 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016, EWR was offered 78 nights “in multiple locations in our community without incident,” the notice says.

A temporary use permit for the Rialto would “allow the LRCA to offer a consistent and accessible location for shelter for some of our most vulnerable community members,” it adds.

The public meeting will be held in the LRCA boardroom at 630 Second Avenue in Ladysmith. For more information contact Shannon Wilson, LRCA executive director at shannon@lrca.ca.