Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Kus-kus-sum Progress Update – August 2021

Vegetation removal at Kus-kus-sum ~ G Fairbrother

Punching holes in the concrete ~ N Prince

Two excavators processing concrete at Kus-kus-sum~ N Prince

Concrete over concrete ~ C Holbrook

Concrete removal progress at Kus-kus-sum as seen from the 17th Street bridge~ N Prince

We are now over a month into removing the hard surface at Kus-kus-sum and we are on schedule to complete the process by the end of summer.

The first order of business was for Copcan Civil Ltd. to remove the vegetation on site. This process went smoothly and was completed within two days. The group of trees at the south end of the site was left intact and we will integrate this with future plantings.  Having previously established trees on the site will help protect the site from erosion, provide shade for newly planted vegetation, and help propagate a native seed bank.

Once the vegetation was removed, the hard surface removal could begin. The hard surfacing on site is a combination of concrete and asphalt. In some areas the asphalt was laid over top of a concrete layer. In these areas, the asphalt was scrapped off to allow access to the concrete below. This was done along the fence line during the first week, along with the delineation of the work boundary, and will continue where areas such as this are encountered. The asphalt will be piled up throughout the summer and kept on site until it is all ready to be trucked offsite and recycled.

The excavator that was mobilized to the site began breaking and ripping up the concrete once the asphalt was dealt with. A bucket attachment was used to separate the exposed concrete from the structural rebar. The rebar was sorted out and piled until metal bins from ABC recycling arrived. All metal pulled out of the concrete is being placed in these bins, which are trucked off site once full, and replaced with empty bins (click here for more information on the metal recycling). A week and a half later, another excavator arrived, along with additional excavator attachments to facilitate processing the concrete. With two excavators working, we started to make notable progress.

The excavators encountered an abundance of thick concrete at the north end of the site, adjacent to the 17th Street Bridge. In some places the concrete footings were over a meter deep and in others there were multiple layers of concrete layered on top of each other. This caused the work at the north end of the site to take a little more time, but as we moved towards the middle section of the site, work proved less complicated and has proceeded quite quickly. 

To date the excavators have broken and piled up more than half of the concrete that covered the 8.3 acres of the site. Soon, a concrete crusher will be mobilized to the site. The crusher will crush the concrete to a specific size that makes it very useful to be re-purposed as road base or back fill. If you have a project that could use concrete crush (3 inch minus), please email projectwatershed@gmail.com!

We couldn’t have gotten this far into this work without our many generous funders. We’d like to recognize some of the significant grants and contributions we have received this year, including the Provincial Healthy Watersheds Initiative Funding, World Wildlife Fund, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Habitat Compensation Trust Fund, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Micah Messent Legacy Fund. For a full list of funders, please see our updated Friends of Kus-kus-sum page.

At this point, we have secured approximately 30% of the $4.5 million needed to fully realize this restoration project. If you have been thinking about donating, please reach out, and if you have any interesting ideas on fundraising that you’d like to support or share with us, just let us know! We sincerely appreciate every contribution that comes our way, and look forward to using the funding we receive to support our local economy in creating a long-lasting community asset for the Comox Valley. 

Thank you for your continued support and interest in Kus-kus-sum, if you have any questions feel free to contact us at projectwatershed@gmail.com.

Ephemeral rebar sculpture ~ C Holbrook

Disappearing rebar sculpture ~ C Holbrook

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