Buff It Up

Help your stream, pond or wetland get fit for the season.

April lingers in the space between neglected gym memberships and swimsuit season. It’s also a time when water levels run high and fast, temperatures start warming up and animals begin looking for ideal nesting habitat. Although buffing it up for the beach may be top of mind, buffing up your stream, pond or wetland to ensure it’s fit for the season should be on your spring to-do list, too.

How to buff it up

Planting or enhancing a buffer is the best way to protect the health of your water feature. A buffer is the planted area along the edge of a stream, pond or wetland. It may include native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees.

Buffers protect the health of freshwater systems. They cast shade to keep water cool for cold-water species like brook trout. Plant roots stabilize slopes near water edges and prevent erosion during high-water season. Roots also slow rainwater runoff and filter pollutants to reduce flooding and water pollution. They also provide food and shelter for wildlife like turtles and birds. And they’ve been known to deter geese from loitering around manicured lawn and pond areas.

Get started

Start by letting the native vegetation grow rather than mowing to the water’s edge. It’s not only less work for you, but you’ll also save on gasoline, reduce your carbon emissions and free up more time for the beach.

Consider planting a buffer strip just a few metres wide along the edge of your water feature. If you have the space, a bigger buffer is always better. A 30-metre buffer is recommended. That said, partial buffers have value too. You can continue to mow some edges for water access or sightlines to the water and still see the benefits.

CVC’s restoration team will do the heavy lifting for you. They provide species recommendations, tree and shrub planting services and subsidized prices. Grants are available through CVC’s Landowner Action Fund and Rural Water Quality Program for eligible projects.

Learn more about caring for your stream, pond or wetland by connecting with our stewardship team. 

Your Countryside Stewardship Team

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