Vancouver's Trout Lake is getting its very own floating island

Jun 6 2022, 8:16 pm

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has unveiled the next phase of its Trout Lake Park renewal plan with the announcement of the city’s first ever floating ecosystem.

According to a statement from the board, the floating ecosystem will be assembled and launched onto Trout Lake “as a pilot to improve biodiversity, plant and wildlife habitat in John Hendry Park”

To put it simply, the ecosystem or habitat is essentially an island that’ll be floating in the middle of Trout Lake and it is made from non-toxic materials. It will be 60 square metres in size.

A series of “interlocking platforms” makes up the construction of the habitat. It’s planted with native species like sedges and rushes in an effort to support plant and animal life above and below the surface of the lake.

Trout Lake has a reputation for poor water that can be unsafe to swim in. The habitat will help improve water quality as it grows.

“The island’s submerged roots create a habitat for millions of microorganisms that consume algae, carbon and excess nutrients to purify the water,” the park board said in a statement.

The habitat will include a subsurface forest of roots to provide fish with shelter, and its varying platforms will allow birds to nest and preen. The habitat will be located right in the middle of Trout Lake in an effort to reduce conflict with lake users.

“The impacts of climate change — unseasonably cold temperatures, extreme heat, extended drought — are a continued threat to Vancouverā€™s environment and wildlife, and we must do everything we can to seek new, sustainable ways to support our greenspaces through this climate emergency,ā€ Chad Townsend, Senior Planner of Environment and Sustainability at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement.

The habitat creation is being supported by ecological technology company Biomatrix Water, and donated by BlueTech Research.

The Trout Lake renewal plan has been a long time coming. You can read more about it here.

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