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Suggested Visual Art

• adapt Civic Address Map 7000 A (Nester’s, White Gold & Spruce Grove) or other similar map showing wetlands

• highlight/label White Gold Wetlands area (PARK) just south of Nancy Greene Drive

• highlight/label The Boot Pub

• highlight/label the trails around the wetland area (the major trail runs from Nancy Greene Drive — just before the bridge across Fitz to White Gold — to the south along Fitzsimmons Creek)

WET & WILD: The amazing truth about Whistler’s Wetlands

Welcome to the White Gold wetlands

For anyone familiar with the walk to The Boot Pub from the village (or the stumble back) using Blackcomb Way, you would probably recognize the area called White Gold Wetlands (also known as the Fitzsimmons Creek Wetlands). For those of you unfamiliar with the area, the White Gold Wetlands are located west of Fitzsimmons Creek, between the Montebello housing complex and White Gold Estates. This local wetland, protected as a municipal park, encompasses an area of approximately 2.5 hectares and is classified as an open shallow water wetland system.

The White Gold Wetlands contain wet bulrush/sedge meadows, and several open ponds buffered by shrub thickets and groves of large coniferous trees. It’s a classic example of a functional wetland consisting of many wildlife and vegetative treasures specific to this area – right in the backyard of Whistler Village.

Historically, the White Gold Wetlands would have served as a floodplain for Fitzsimmons Creek, soaking up flood level flows like a sponge and releasing them slowly in drier periods. Did you know that the amenity stream (the constructed stream running through the Village by the Brewhouse Pub) is drawn from Fitzsimmons Creek to flow through the village, into the White Gold Wetlands and back into Fitzsimmons Creek? Water quality is currently being tested in the White Gold Wetlands to ensure that water remains clean and healthy for fish, bugs, birds and other wildlife.

Have you noticed the "sensitive habitat" signs by the pond as you walk north down Blackcomb Way? The varied ecological zones of the White Gold Wetlands support many species of wildlife, from cute furry fauna to the real creepy crawlies. Traces of bears can be found throughout the wetlands – check out the trees along the trail for fresh claw marks. At this time of year, the bears are probably munching on the skunk cabbage (the smelly big-leafed plants with yellow flowers) which serves as a big part of bear nutrition before the berries turn ripe.

We’ve also heard rumours of a bear den tree in the White Gold Wetlands – let us know if you can spot it from the trail! Bears aren’t the only furry fauna to be found – black-tailed deer, small mice and voles, snowshoe hares, martens, coyotes, raccoons, and minks also live in or use this area. And don’t forget about the busiest critters, the beavers, which are extremely active in the White Gold wetlands.