Ginty’s Pond, also called Cawston Slough, is a small wetland area in Cawston B.C. It provides a rare opportunity to view a wetland in the process of transitioning into a marshland and eventually becoming dry land.
It was an educational opportunity for the nine members of the VFFN group to tour this area with an exceptional guide. Lee McFayden has lived in the area for almost 50 years. She is one of the original organic farmers in the area and an active environmentalist. She gave us the colourful history of Ginty’s Pond. The ‘Pond’, up until the late 1970’s, was a dynamic community waterway. Residents living along the slough had small boats and docks and skated on it in the winter. This area now has very little open water and is choked with cattails and other invasive plant species. This transition has occurred as a direct result of government road work and the increased withdrawing of water for
irrigation purposes. This has occurred in a relatively short period of time. Lee also pointed out a Cottonwood forest that was almost decimated by a local business using it for animal grazing. Happily it has abundant regrowth.
This wetland is home to more than 70 species of birds and many amphibians. We did see a Lewis Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbirds, a pair of Ospreys and many Mallard Ducks and ducklings. This area is a perfect example of how precious and fragile our wetlands are in the South Okanagan.