Coastal Gaslink has followed through on its promise to restore the Vanderhoof Lodge work camp to agricultural land.
Sited near the Vanderhoof airport, ground was broken in 2020 on the work camp, which was intended to house up to 900 workers on the pipeline project. It was built on land temporarily removed from the agricultural land reserve.
In a release, Coastal GasLink said they are committed to leaving a legacy in local communities along the project route.
“When our team began engaging with Indigenous and local communities and governments over a decade ago, we collaborated on a reclamation plan based on feedback and input from communities along with accredited and experienced B.C. environmental specialists and experts,” reads the statement. “The reclamation and legacy of the Vanderhoof lodge site demonstrates how when we work together with our community partners, we can ensure we follow through on our commitments of environmental stewardship and long-term economic benefits.”
The Vanderhoof Lodge site was decommissioned in 2021 and has undergone extensive reclamation work to establish and restore agricultural productivity, transforming it into what will soon be almost 48 acres of viable farmland.
“To see this through from start to end is important for me. I take a lot of pride in the work that I do, and to have the stewardship of the site and see it be successful is something we can all be proud of,” said Patrick Boylan, environmental inspector. “The reclamation techniques were designed to improve the agricultural capability of the site and we will see productive agriculture here going forward.”
As part of ongoing reclamation efforts at the site, tillage radishes were planted on 16.5 acres of the area that was originally farmed. Tillage radishes were used because their deep roots can grow quickly and help break through compacted soils. Coastal GasLink worked closely with McTavish Resource and Management Consultants Ltd. to implement nutrient management planning tools and engaged a local agronomist to optimize future production.
During its time in operation, the release states, it brought benefits to the community of Vanderhoof, including industrial tax revenue, lease payments and local business opportunities. Coastal GasLink also made in-kind donations of a trailer and fencing to the District of Vanderhoof, and a $50,000 legacy donation towards long-term Vanderhoof Airport infrastructure and terminal planning. In 2021, the project also provided $50,000 towards the purchase of a new electric Zamboni for the community.