Displaying items by tag: native plants
PERTH, May 15, 2023 – Staff and volunteers duelled thick grass, invasive species and hardened shorelines last weekend as they planted nearly 1,200 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the Tay River in Last Duel Park.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) partnered with the Town of Perth to implement the major shoreline naturalization project at the former campground. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund provided funding.
All told, staff and volunteers helped naturalize more than 350 metres of shoreline on May 13.
The new plantings in three areas along the existing pathway left room for three lookouts over the Tay River, and in some areas favoured low-growing plants to preserve the view for path users.
Natural shorelines are the “ribbon of life,” with more than 90% of lake and river species depending on the intersection of land and water at some point during their life cycles. Natural shorelines also help to reduce erosion as deep-rooted native plants and trees hold the soil in place in the face of wake, wind and runoff. They also slow stormwater so it has time to soak into the ground, filtering contaminants in the process and improving local water quality.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Town of Perth to bring this project to life,” said RVCA’s shoreline naturalization co-ordinator Brandon Holden. “It may not look like much right now, but once these plants and trees take root residents will reap the benefits of this healthy shoreline for decades to come.”
This won’t be the last duel for the new shoreline plants, though. They’ll contend with competing grasses and invasive species for at least three years as the new plants take root and begin to grow. To aid them in their battle, coir mats have been deployed to suppress weeds and grasses around many of the seedlings. While the planting areas are designated no-mow zones, some maintenance may be required if existing grasses or invasive species begin to out-compete the native plants.
“We extend a huge thanks to the volunteers who came out over the Mother’s Day weekend to improve their park and support natural climate solutions in their community,” said Shannon Baillon, Director of Community Services at the Town of Perth. “We look forward to enjoying a more beautiful shoreline for years to come.”
RVCA offers generous financial and technical support for shoreline naturalization for any waterfront landowners in the Rideau Valley watershed. Learn more and book a site visit at https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/shoreline-naturalization/shoreline-naturalization-program.
RIDEAU VALLEY, July 18, 2023 – In the war on invasive species, knowledge is the most potent weapon – and a free community workshop aims to arm the public with as much invasive species information as possible.
Focusing on identification and how to reduce their spread, the workshop on Saturday, July 29 will feature staff presentations as well as hands-on displays of invasive plants and animals.
“We’re hoping more members of the public will become familiar with these species and their impacts,” said Amanda Lange, RVCA’s Aquatic Habitat Monitoring Co-ordinator. “The more people know about invasive species, the more we can collectively work to curb their spread. And by reducing the spread, we can give our native species a fighting chance and promote a more balanced and diverse local ecosystem.”
Invasive plants like Himalayan Balsam, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed and dog-strangling vine can spread rapidly, pushing out native species and leaving gaps in the area’s biodiversity. This can reduce food supplies and resources for other species who rely on the missing native plants. Invasive plants are also often poor substitutes when it comes to erosion and flood mitigation, as their roots generally aren’t as deep or strong.
In the water, invasive aquatic species can have dramatic ecosystem impacts while also measurably changing water quality and characteristics. For example, invasive zebra mussels filter suspended particulates so effectively they can cause distinctly weedier lakes, since sunlight can reach further into the water column.
“We’re excited to welcome the public to learn what they can do in their own backyards to make a difference,” Lange said. “It’s a group effort to keep our local environment as natural and functional as possible for everyone’s benefit.”
The workshop will be held at the RVCA’s headquarters in Manotick from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. All are welcome, including community associations, environmental groups, property owners, students, gardeners and anyone with an interest in learning about invasive species.
Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration is required.