Camp River (Slough) Wildlife Area


Camp River Wildlife Area – Nov. 2016


What’s in a name? - Turns out that the "stream" that runs beside our Camp "River" Wildlife Area is actually the Hope Slough. Denis knew that, Fernando learned that as he did water surveys for Water Wealth and now all Club members know. Besides, the Camp River is actually gazetted as a SLOUGH and so is the Hope River. A "slough" is a natural channel that is only sporadically filled with water. The BC Ministry of Environment officially calls the property the "Camp Slough Wildlife Area".

2017 is the tenth anniversary of "Coffee Cutters" the brainchild of Lee Larkin. It is hard work but worth the noticeable habitat improvement and the camaraderie afterwards at coffee time!

The Nature Trust Conservation Youth Crew was at Camp Slough in November 2016 cleaning out the bird nesting boxes, taking notes on which boxes had been occupied and by whom. TNT crew GPS’d the location of each box and decided which ones needed to be repaired or replaced. Later they will be going back to Camp Slough to put up some new nesting boxes. TNTBC purchased 12 swallow nesting boxes and 8 chickadee. Samantha Penner is hopeful for some more funding to replace more boxes next year.

History from 2006 to 2010 from the Heron Herald


Wednesday, March 22, 2006  was a major tree planting event on the Kournossoff property 

at the Camp River Wildlife area. 

Only five club members turned up but the addition of 38 visiting Japanese students, their three teachers and one or two others helped make the event a great success. 

Five hundred trees were planted. It was a lot of work accomplished by many hands. But it wasn't all just work. There was some fun involved in the process of showing the students, most of whom spoke no English, how to use tools they seemed totally unfamiliar with. 

I personally had fun teaching one young lady how to use a shovel in such a way as to make the work a little easier for her. Another young lady oohed and aahed when I showed her a way to smooth a bit of soil by turning the rake upside down and both pulling and pushing.

Not all the benefits went to the property. New friendships were made. I understand Deana Knopp, age 20 has been thinking for some time about visiting Japan and now, after making good friendships with five 16 year old students, she has confirmed that she will go. Emails are apparently flying daily across the pacific.

The Finished Product

The students really enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts and many tears were shed as they loaded the bus to leave. It was a good day. - Roy Luckow

A little good news about the Kournossoff Property September 2006

 The ministry has supplied a crew to work with weed eaters for 4 days at those pesky blackberries;

moreover, we have received (from the Public Conservation Assistance Fund) a

grant for $6500 to dig temporary ponds and feed volunteers during fall plantings.

Our club certainly appreciates Lee's difficult and continuing work on grant applications.

A CAMP RIVER afternoon October 14,  2006

I decided to take some photos at the Kournossoff property this fall, having heard rumors of big

changes . a couple of large .ponds. surrounded by new plantings; a bulldozed path right through the

pesky blackberries alongside the slough; and some small rhododendrons in place behind the Cairn. Lee

and Denis have been busy organizing and supervising these developments. Lee warned me

that I would have to climb a fence to access the Kournossoff property, so I persuaded one of our

hardy club members to accompany me (along with her kitchen stool). What's Next?? 

Camp River Coffee Cutters October 2006

Thanks for the support at the last planting at Camp River Wildlife Area. Since the planting we have had

a mulching machine (they donated one full day) into the site removing the blackberries. Denis also spent

a day with our tractor brushing blackberry patches in the field. The difference is amazing!

The first Saturday of each month is ear marked for a one hour clean-up at Camp River from 9-10am.

Today, the rain held off and we were able to work away at the blackberries nearest the cairn. We then

strolled through the property and saw that the newly dug ponds are filling with water! We also saw

several coyotes and bunnies dashing about and a northern shrike sitting on one of the bird boxes.

Afterwards, it was a warm cup of coffee at Tim Horton's. Hope to see you armed with your clippers

and shears again at 9am on December 2nd! -Lee Larkin

COFFEE CUTTERS at WORK April 7, 2007

Camp River Wildlife Area

An hour or two of planting around the pond’s edge … then refreshments at Tim’s.


Kournossoff Property November 2007

The Camp River Wildlife Area is now benefiting from a large $7200 .Direct

Access Grant, as well as Frances Guinet's generous $500 gift. Lee and Denis have

wisely purchased equipment for the monthly Coffee Cutters use.


Here is the list:

 long-handled pruners & hand pruners  3 brush cutters  lots of shovels & gloves

 ear protectors  safety glasses  oil mix and gas cans  brush cutter grease

This grant will also allow us to hire someone to cut blackberries and thistles in the field next year. Thanks for your commitment to the project Lee and Denis !!

And many thanks to our friend Frances Guinet for her $500 gift to the Kournossoff account. Lee tells me that it has been used to complete a reptile denning

area on the south side of the pond.


Coffee Cutters at Kournossoff 's Saturday, December 1, 2007

This December field trip didn’t really happen, although the four cutters (and the photographer) decided to walk the perimeter and

search for the elusive coyote den. We found it, and also discovered an ideal spot for a summer CFN picnic.

It was great to have a close look at the changing features of the Camp River Wildlife Area. There was some

snow on the ground – cool enough to cause us to hurry to the coffee shop.


1. Camp River Wildlife Area Public Conservation Assistance Fund

Grant Received $6500


-Pond construction -Clay and rock -Compacting  -Stakes for pond boundary -Lunch for Volunteers

2.  Direct Access Grant – Gaming Account

Grant Received - $7200


-Cases, programs, warranty etc. for computer and camera

-Tools and equipment for work at Kournossoff property. - Lee Larkin

Camp River Coffee Cutters, May 3rd  2008

Our regular monthly Cutters’ outing was quite an interesting day. The mission was to remove

those nasty blackberries and clean nest boxes. As always, Lee came prepared with the

materials required and we got right down to work. John was active cutting back blackberry

with the weed eater, while Denis manned the tractor borrowed from our good friend Fritz Pratt. 

The Stephany family and their daughter Bridgette, along with our president and Lee were hand-cutting blackberry

from around the trees. Greg and Eric were busy cleaning out nest boxes of

both old nests and lethargic wasps on behalf of our swallow friends. The Wildlife Area’s resident, curious

coyote, was on hand for the event, making sure we were doing a good job and showing himself to our guests.

We were fortunate to have found (we believe) a river otter skull and pelt, along with a male black-tail deer

skull and a dead coast mole. These discoveries gave much pleasure to our younger guests.

As per tradition, we enjoyed coffee / hot chocolate Bridgette  Stephanie- a discovery! at Tim Horton’s 

and a rare front row seat to the Chilliwack Parade - these “after joys” making it a great day.

Our next Coffee Cutters’ work party will take place at the Camp River Wildlife Area on

Saturday June 7th from 9 - 10am. Hope to see you there!

 CAMP RIVER NEWS, May 31 2008 

Sweet Rocket Flowers in Spring Buttercups and Roses

It’s time for a little report about the continuing work at the Kournossoff

property, spear headed by Lee and Denis …. The monthly work parties

are helping a lot – more folks are always welcome on the 1st Saturday of each month- rain or shine!


The Coffee Cutters are alive and well and making progress with our on-site tools.

At the Cairn, white Rhododendrons welcome all to the site.


A couple of us removed the invasive bindweed that was threatening their blossoms.

Protected Plantings Overlook the River

While Lee views the pond site, Marilyn and Bona admire the pink Rocket blossoms


Coffee Cutters December 2009

COFFEE –CUTTERS don’t mind the DEC. 2009 snowy winter weather

Denis and Lee work at the Kournossoff Property

Due to the economic slump, our club was turned down for a 2009 gaming grant to

maintain the Camp River Wildlife area. Nonetheless members turn up monthly to

cut blackberries. By careful financial management, we found money to hire a team to really work on those blackberries.

EcoNeutral, a tree company that provides carbon offset services, helped out in restoration by planting many evergreens,

if not always in the manner our managers wished. (from Pres. Report by Janne Perrin)