The damages that followed last year’s fire season didn’t spare the natural beauty surrounding Fishpot Lake Resort.
Resort owner Marc Roy put up an unfaltering and dedicated fight to save his property, putting in 57 days last summer, ensuring the parameters of the lodge remained waterlogged, and that the eight cabins and lodge at the edge of the lake remained untouched.
However, the resulting damage to the outlying forest that just borders the grounds, including the top tier of their camping area, causes great concern.
The wilderness resort has always been a sanctuary for wildlife, including some endangered species such as the wood duck, pileated woodpecker and the American pelican. Marc and Vicky Roy have owned the resort for 13 years, and are now facing the pressing concern that the wildlife will have nowhere to come back to.
Tracy Bond, the executive director of the Baker Creek Enhancement Society (BCES) and wildfire recovery co-ordinator, has spearheaded a work bee that will give the resort a strong headstart in the long recovery process.
On Earth Day weekend, Apr. 21 and 22, the Roy family and a group of volunteers will tackle the many tasks necessary to bring the resort back to its original state, and to give wildlife a place to return.
“The one thing we don’t have is enough people to help us,” Vicky says.
“We have enough work to keep our family busy for the next six years.”
The damage the fires and wind caused left debris and fallen trees that have to be removed to make way for replacing a fence line, rebuilding the damaged adventure playground and dock and also putting up structures to ensure the return and harbourage of the many resident birds.
Vicky says they will be adding several bird houses, which will be home to birds like the barred owl and flickers, and also even martens, among other animals including squirrels and bats.
“It’s a positive start for our family,” Vicky says.
“We’ve focused on the not so positive [immediately following the fires], and now it’s time to focus on the healing.”
With many hands helping to clean up the aftermath of the fires, the Roys will have the opportunity to experience that healing sooner.
The reparations for the resort have been made possible by a generous donation from the Lion’s Club, and the handiwork of Grant Hill, who donated his birdhouses through Pause to Feather Creations, along with the BCES and other volunteers.
All it took, Bond says, was for the resort to reach out to BCES for help. She’s sure this will encourage others to initiate more wildfire recovery efforts in the future for businesses and families who suffered the same losses.
“We know there are more people out there who need help,” Bond says.
Those interested in lending a hand at Fishpot Lake Resort can meet at the Save-On-Foods parking lot near the recycling bins at 9:00 a.m. Apr. 21. Volunteers will drive out to the resort together.
Bond asks that people bring work attire such as boots, work gloves, etc. as well as chainsaws, rakes and any other tools they may have to contribute to the effort.
As the work bee is meant to support the resort’s economic recovery, volunteers are asked to cover the cost of their own food and accommodations for the weekend. You can call Vicky Roy at 1 403 927 6208 to book your stay in any of their eight cabins.
Contact Bond at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.