When Ruby Chapman and her brothers applied to the local government to build a guest cottage on their ocean-front property, they learned that a brackish marsh on their property that the family had always referred to simply as 'the swamp' was an extremely rare and unique ecosystem to the region. When the family recruited the help of ecologists to investigate the values of the marsh, a treasure hunt ensued. Camas, chocolate lilies, pacific silverweed and Arctic rush were just some of the special, and in some cases endangered, plants the family discovered. After that, Ruby and her family were inspired to protect their 'swamp'.
A brackish marsh is a wetland have has a mix of both fresh and salt water. The Reid Chapman marsh is tucked between two bays on Gabriola Island, and is fed by freshwater runoff from the upland areas and a continued inflow of saltwater from the incoming tides. In 1999, the Reid Chapman family protected the marsh permanently with a conservation covenant.
Today, the Reid Chapman family still enjoy the property and their special swamp, watching the wildlife come and go and each season makes its mark on the landscape. The knowledge that the unique and rare species will be protected long after they're gone is the greatest gift the covenant has given them.