June Kus-kus-sum Payment Goal Met and Surpassed

On June 29th Project Watershed sent Interfor half a million dollars as the second interim payment for the purchase of the Kus-kus-sum lands. A large portion of the $400,000 awarded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in March went towards this payment, the remainder will be applied to our December payment. Our community target of $100,000 was also a component of the half a million dollar payment – a target we not only met but surpassed! Thanks to the Denton Family gift of $50,000 (read more), the Nomadic Tempest event which brought in $40,000 (read more) and all our other donors we raised $30,000 more than our target. These funds will be applied to our next payment of $100,000 due on December 20th, 2018, putting us at 30% of the way our next community goal. Read more

Kus-Kus-Sum receives $50,000 from Denton Foundation

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, met with Project Watershed Board Chair, Paul Horgen, and Technical Director, Dan Bowen, and announced that they wanted to become Platinum Donors for Kus-kus-sum with an extremely generous gift of $50,000.

 The Dentons have deep roots in the community, having settled in the area with their 2 young children in 1975. At that time, Frank Denton opened an engineering/surveying consulting practice for Vancouver-based McElhanney, which has now been operating successfully in the Valley for 43 years. He ultimately became senior vice-president for the company and, though now retired, continues to serve as a director. “I worked with Frank on many projects in the past when I was with the Ministry of Transportation”, noted Dan Bowen. Read more

Sustainable Seafood Chef Ned Bell visits Locals Restaurant to support Kus-kus-sum salmon habitat restoration

Sixty foodies got a special “appetizer” of the BC Seafood Festival when celebrity Chef Ned Bell served a gourmet “estuary luncheon” in the Comox Valley. Canadian cookbook author, national TV personality and champion for sustainable seafood and oceans, Chef Bell came to support Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum project to restore the old sawmill site on the Courtenay River. With partners […]

Funds roll in for Kus-kus-sum, Project Watershed hopes to restore former Field Sawmill site

Apr. 17, 2018 11:30 a.m. – 

 

A number of groups and individuals have contributed to Project Watershed’s efforts to purchase and restore the former Field Sawmill site on the Courtenay River near the 17th Street Bridge.

The Cumberland Community Forest Society has raised thousands at trivia nights, attendees at Doug Hillian’s retirement party raised a few thousand, and two boys raised more than $100 at their sixth birthday party.

Alexandra Calland and the Estuary Angel (who is matching funds raised) have also contributed significant sums to the project dubbed Kus-kus-sum, in reference to an ancient K’ómoks First Nation village.

“People do amazing things,” said Paul Horgen, board chair of the Comox Valley Project Watershed Society. “There’s a lady who lives in Comox who brought in a jar of coins. She says every day she takes a toonie from her purse and sticks it in a jar, and at the end of the month she donates it to Kus-kus-sum.”

Horgen said Interfor Corporation, the property owner, wants to see some sort of conservation solution at the site.

“They’ve been one of our biggest donors, too,” he said. “We’re hoping to convince the professionals to step up. It’s looking pretty good, but we’ve got a long ways to go. We’ve made some contacts with some of our political leaders, and hopefully that’s going to move in the right direction.”

The entire project will cost about $6.5 million, including restoration, which is a few years down the road. The society has raised $140,000 from the community for land acquisition. It will soon receive another $400,000 from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, which will bump the total to $587,000.

Project Watershed hopes to bring in the balance from provincial, federal, international, corporate and other private donors.

Anyone planning an event and wanting to raise funds for Kus-kus-sum can contact Project Watershed at info@projectwatershed.ca or (250) 703-2871.

 

Many thanks to the Comox Valley Record for publishing this article on Kus-kus-sum. Paul Horgen

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians Open House and Kus-kus-sum Presentation

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians is excited to present an open house and information update on the biggest, most ambitious ‘re-wilding’ project ever undertaken in the Comox Valley.

Project Watershed (PW) and the K’ómoks First Nation share a dream to restore the old Fields Sawmill site on the Courtenay River to estuary salt-mash and riverside forest and in the process reconnect the river to the Hollyhock intertidal channels. The project site is named Kus-kus-sum in recognition of the historic First Nation village once located in the area.

Thursday, April 19, 7 pm in the Lower Native Sons Hall, Dan Bowen, Project Watershed Technical Director, will share the vision for the site’s future and highlight the projects many benefits and historic significance to the Comox Valley.

“The aim of the Kus-kus-sum Project”, says Bowen, “is to restore the Courtenay River channel habitat back to its natural condition – we will ‘un-pave’ the sawmill parking lot and put up a paradise. This ambitious project will make the river and estuary a healthier place not only for fish and wildlife but for all of us.”

The evening’s agenda also includes an overview of past and current projects with an update on Project Watershed’s latest initiatives. You’ll enjoy informal discussions with directors and volunteers and the opportunity to view displays that focus on the varied services Project Watershed provides the community.

In support of Kus-kus-sum, beautiful art cards and posters, chocolate bars, colourful shopping bags and raffle tickets will be for sale. Donations will be accepted at the door. “Every purchase, every donation gets us closer to transforming the eyesore in the heart of our Valley into functioning habitat,” states PW director, Bill Heidrick.

The 2017 recipient of the Chapter’s annual Community Action Award, Project Watershed’s mission as a local, non-profit environmental organization is “to promote community stewardship of Comox Valley Watersheds through education, information and action”.

Everyone is invited on Thursday, April 19 to the Lower Native Sons Hall, 360 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay, at 7 pm to enjoy an informative open house.