Ghost towns are eerie places. Empty buildings and quiet streets remind us of busier times. The same is true for ghost wetlands. Where there were once sounds of spring peepers at dusk, cattails blowing in the wind and turtles basking on a sunny day, vibrant wetland ecosystems have been lost from the landscape.
Did you know that wetlands are an important part of a resilient environment? They’re one of the healthiest, most diverse ecosystems in the world. They provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife. They help control flooding. They filter and clean water for drinking. Unfortunately 48 per cent (or more than 13,000 acres) of wetlands have been degraded or disappeared from the Credit River Watershed since the 1950s. Much of this has happened from urban development or changing wetlands to agricultural fields.
It is possible, however, to find signs of ghost wetlands around your property. Look for moist soils with lots of dark organic material. Check for areas of standing water in spring, and traces of a few wetland plants such as cattails.
Your neighbours across the Credit River Watershed are protecting wetlands and restoring ones that have been lost. There are opportunities to retire wet, difficult-to-farm areas and bring these lost landscapes back to life.
Join CVC staff on June 2 at the ‘Ghost’ Wetlands Workshop at Terra Cotta Community Centre. Learn more about lost wetlands and how you can restore these valuable ecosystems.