On Saturday June 9 CVC hosted a landowner restoration and tree planting demonstration tour in the East Credit region of Credit River Watershed.

Despite the rainy weather CVC staff welcomed 17 participants aboard a yellow school bus that set off to visit four demonstration projects on private lands.

The group stopped at Doug and Janis Apted’s property. The Apteds undertook extensive reforestation and windbreak plantings with CVC and the Town of Caledon over twenty years ago. The couple treated tour participants to a walk through their now mature forest which boarders a Provincially Significant Wetland. The Apteds answered many questions from the group and discussed and how increased trees on their property have provided immeasurable enjoyment, recreation and environmental benefits.

The bus drove next to Doug and Debbie Hart’s Trailwood Farm. The group found the perspective of newcomers to the rural landscape and equine farming interesting. Doug spoke about the importance of keeping livestock out of and away from watercourses.

Four years ago, when the Hart’s bought their farm, it lacked proper fencing to keep the horses out of the creek. With CVC’s help, new fencing was built and an adequate buffer space along the creek was planted with a mix of water loving native tress and shrubs. This has slowed runoff going to the creek and increased the filtering of nutrients coming from the farm’s riding areas. Doug also gave the group a tour of his new manure storage facility built in partnership with the CVC and the Peel Rural Water Quality Program last year.

To wrap the morning up, the group drove north and toured an understory naturalization project and vernal pool rehabilitation site at the Bradshaw property. Lynn and Dana Bradshaw have worked for several years with CVC planting hundreds of trees and shrubs under an older plantation to act as a windbreak, slowing the harsh winter winds and snow drifts. The Bradshaws plans are to rehabilitate a vernal pool at the back of their property. The wet area rarely grows a crop and is better suited as a natural space. A diverse mix of water loving trees and shrubs will be planted next year.  The area will improve habitat for local wildlife especially amphibians. Before heading back on the bus participants were treated to lemonade and homemade cookies in the garden provided by the generous hosts.

On the return trip, the tour paused at the site of a wetland restoration project on Olde Baseline Road. CVC worked with Robert Nimmo to control invasive Manitoba Maple and Common Reed and to plant native trees and shrubs to stabilize the stream bank. The project improves habitat by increasing native vegetation for wildlife populations.

Despite intermittent drizzle, the tour was tremendously successful and those attending were eager for more. Before the tour, many participants felt overwhelmed by the thought of undertaking a project but left with greater confidence in their ability to take on such projects on their own properties with CVC;s assistance. A project with CVC is an opportunity to contribute to the health of the Credit River Watershed and will invaluably enhance the natural beauty of your property.

To learn more about CVC’s Countryside Stewardship Program visit www.creditvalleyca.ca/countrysidestewardship

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