Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tod Creek Flats

On Wednesday the 18th there is a discussion of the Tod Creek flats - these are the fields near the Red Barn Market on West Saanich road and are often flooded.   The event is at 6 pm at the Unitarian Church on West Saanich road.   It is organized by the Friends of Tod Creek and Saanich South MLA Lana Popham.

This location highlights an ongoing problem, often the best agricultural land are the wetlands.   This is why over in the lower mainland most of the wetlands were drained and then made into fields.   The best example was Sumas Lake between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Sumas lake was a very shallow lake, more of a swamp in many respects.  It was drained in 1924 and is now home to more than 1000 acres of very good farmland and ensured that another 2000 or so acres of land would not longer be flooded.  Those 3000 acres produce between 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes of food.   But at the same time one of the biggest wetland habitats in the Fraser Valley disappeared.

If the land at Tod flats is restored, it means the loss of more productive agricultural land in this region.   This is the sort of trade off people need to think about.   Saanich has already purchased Panama Flats and will be taking much of that land out of future food production.

Tod Creek is named for HBC fur trader John Tod.   He was a very interesting man and I wish more people knew about him.  
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