Warmer weather brings spring cleaning excitement, but what about our furry, feathery and slithery friends? They can use a helping hand getting ready for spring too. Adding a few simple tasks to your outdoor cleaning checklist can make spring’s welcome even warmer.

  Task One

March landscapes are blank canvases for Mother Nature. As snow melts, we can see areas on our property and in our community that could use some TLC. Identifying these vulnerable areas is the first step to a successful environmental spring cleanup.

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With a blanket of snow, the shoreline on the left appears clean.
However, melting snow reveals garbage that should be removed.
Melting snow reveals garbage that should be removed.

  Task Two

Raccoons, chipmunks, turtles and other animals are exceptionally hungry after the long winter. During spring, they’re more likely to forage for food outside of their typical diets. Removing garbage in our communities will reduce their chances of filling their stomachs with harmful materials.

This seagull was found with a lighter, bottle cap, plastic bag and other deadly materials inside its stomach.
This seagull was found with a lighter, bottle cap, plastic bag and other deadly materials inside its stomach.

At Credit Valley Conservation, we host spring shoreline cleanups throughout the watershed. It’s an opportunity to clean our shorelines so Mother Nature and the public can enjoy the Credit River and Lake Ontario.

  Task Three

April is the busiest month for migratory birds. Waterfowl, songbirds, arctic tern and blackpoll warbler migrate between 3,000 and 40,000 km! Cleaning bird boxes and baths provides safe feeding and resting places. Repairing feeders from winter damage and stocking with seeds will refuel birds during their migration.

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Blackpoll warbler

  Task Four

Seeing grass again is one of the many simple pleasures of spring. Heavy snow can compact soil over the course of winter, reducing oxygen and dehydrating plants. Raking lawns, flowerbeds and shrubs will remove winter debris, aerate soil and help oxygen get to plant roots. Remove unwanted debris by composting it or taking it to your local garden centre.

  Task Five

Money doesn’t grow on trees but it does help plant them. Investing in native species and planting them pays off in the long-term. A variety of native species with different heights and textures can support a diversity of insects and shelter animals from predators and the elements. Planting shrub species like serviceberries and wildflowers like goldenrods are inexpensive, beautiful to look at and are food sources for animals.

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Downy serviceberry
Goldenrods
Goldenrods

  Task Six

Give yourself a pat on the back! If Mother Nature could, she would. When we take the time to help the environment, we can feel good about making a difference in our communities. So, take of your mittens and put that green thumb to work.

Visit CVC’s event calendar to register for a spring clean up event.

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